An early decision in the design of VAX/VMS was the definition of the "VAX Procedure Calling Standard" that dictated the instructions and mechanisms to be used for calling procedures, passing parameters and returning values, independent of language. All the compilers were expected to use this mechanism so that you could, for example, call a procedure written in VAX COBOL from VAX FORTRAN. This worked to a large extent, but it wasn't explicitly defined (and couldn't really be defined) whether compilers should use call-by-value, call-by-reference or call-by-descriptor for particular data types so additional semantic cruft was required to sort out the deails of parameter-passing. VAX C would sometimes pass a double-word argument in violation of the standard. The standard also had nothing to say about meta issues like run time initialisation, memory and thread usage, etc.
That said, it was a revelation coming from an IBM world in which you'd sometimes have to write Assembler shims to patch up the calling conventions if you needed to get one language talking to another.