Specialisation within surgery is unavoidable, as it is in other disciplines. Motives and drawbacks are mentioned. The current situation in Europe is confused. However, progress in training is encouraging. The UEMS, the sections, and the boards are the preferred instruments for stimulation and harmonisation of training, C. M. E., quality control and peer review and of visitation of centres. The ... [Show full abstract] envelope concept of surgery seems to be the best answer to the structural problem of the distinct specialties within surgery. The duration and length of the common trunk in these specialties remains a difficult issue. The future of surgery requires the implementation of a number of assignments by the ACMT, the UEMS, its sections, boards and divisions.