In 1996, the first European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) minimum standards programme in nephrology was published. Since then, medical practice in an expanded European Union (EU) has evolved significantly. These changes have prompted the UEMS Nephrology Section to update and review the programme on harmonization of nephrology training in the EU. Although directives of the EU indicate that a specialist from one EU member state must be recognized in all EU member states, the current practical implications of these directives are limited due to the important existing differences in the EU member states' training programmes. Although not exhaustive, the present document aims to profile a minimum common framework of nephrology training in the EU for both trainers and higher-specialty trainees. The nephrology programme addresses several topics, among them enrolment requirements, duration and organization of the training and a detailed description of the knowledge, competences, practical skills and attitudes necessary to become a specialist in nephrology. Whilst the development of a standard, pan-EU nephrology training programme is not realistic, the UEMS Nephrology section believes that this does not diminish the need for improving harmonization of training in the EU.