The stakeholders in any process or activity are the people, companies and institutions that affect or who are affected by that process or activity. Forests have economic, environmental and cultural values at local, national and international scales, meaning that any forest policy will have many stakeholder groups.
Experiences of VPA processes have shown that stakeholders in timber-exporting countries and the EU include governments, private-sector companies, civil society organisations, communities and/or indigenous peoples.
Among and within stakeholder groups there are a multitude of priorities, capacities and viewpoints regarding legality of timber products. A central challenge for VPA processes is to bridge differences and foster broad support.
Thus, the EU advocates for broad stakeholder participation in order to assure EU and partner country stakeholders that a VPA is robust and credible.