The dinner for the delegates was held in the equally beautiful Horticultural Gardens in Frederiksberg. The weather was superb and the atmosphere could not have been better. There was a pressing need to harmonise the specialist training of the day within the EEC and for information. In a letter dated 4 June 1980 (UEMS/6675) – ie, before the Copenhagen meeting - we had been informed by the main UEMS office in Brussels that the EEC Standing Advisory Committee on Medical Training (ACMT), established in the early 1960s, intended to hold fact-finding hearings in Brussels with two experts from each of the medical specialties, “without forgetting those disciplines which do not exist in all the nine (six original plus three new) countries”, to get up-to-date facts about specialist training in the EEC countries and input from the all the sections about their ideas for future improvements. The first hearing (Ophthalmology) had already taken place on 11 January 1981. In this connection we had a long discussion during our business meeting of the answers to a recent, parallel ACMT questionnaire about D-V specialist training, which had been sent to our section delegates. The Advisory Committees (there were several) of the EEC Commission would soon begin to work on this and related issues. Before the meeting I had asked Dr Thais Hattel to join me as a Danish delegate, because I felt I could not on my own assume responsibility for outlining the Danish position. At the time Dr Hattel was Chairman of the second of the two Danish D-V organisations (DDO), which mainly deals with practi- cal matters relating to private practice. It was moved and agreed, that from now on both French and English would be official languages of the D-V Section. It was also mentioned and discussed that in several EEC countries there was concern of an imminent overproduction of D-V specialists. Before the meeting in Copenhagen our veteran Chairman, Prof Duperrat, had let it be known that he wished to retire and, since the Secretary General, Dr Hubert Delune, had died, elections were held and Dr Duncan Catterall (UK) became the new Chairman. Having been nominated by the two British delegates, I was elected Secretary General and Dr Peter Bakker (NL) Treasurer. Dr Catterall and I were also mandated to represent our section at the ACMT hearings mentioned above. How and why did the idea of a European Academy arise? In preparation for the Brussels hearing, our section was asked by ACMT to answer a number of supple- mentary questions about the current training of future dermato-venereologists in the EEC countries; maybe, as it turned out, because they did not feel comfortable with our answers to former, similar ques- tionnaires. The answers to the new questionnaire were collected by the national delegates, tabulated by me and sent in advance to Brussels. In September 1981 it became our turn to go for hearings in Brussels. As Dr Catterall was away on a lecture tour in Australia, he was not able to attend so he asked me to represent our section. However, Dr Catterall wanted me to present and endorse his firm view, “...that all doctors wishing to specialise should have adequate experience in general medicine before turning to full-time training for a period of approximately four years in the specialty of their choice.” The results of the above-mentioned questionnaires and the section delegates supported his view. The hearing in Brussels This consisted of two meetings: a preparatory session on 21 September 1981, where I must admit I felt a bit overwhelmed, sitting there confronted by a panel consisting of several representatives from the head office of UEMS (headed by Dr P Poyaud), plus an impressive Board with 10 delegates from the national medical associations of each EEC member country. However, now that Dr Catterall was away, I was backed by two of our French Board members: Prof Philippe Lauret (Rouen) and Dr H Payenneville, the only remaining member from the Board of the original D-V Section.