Summary Nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most common malignancy occurring in white populations. It is currently becoming an important challenge in terms of public health management as the increasing incidence rates will probably have a tremendous impact on healthcare costs. Possible factors driving this rise in NMSC numbers are increases in both acute and prolonged UV exposure together with increasing numbers of older people in the population. A better understanding of NMSC epidemiology in Europe is essential if an evidence-based European-wide public health policy is to be developed. It is obvious this can only be achieved by recording and analysing comparative epidemiological data. Finally, by improving the skin examination training for physicians, developing guidelines and exchanging best practices, a high level of healthcare could be provided for NMSC.