Aims: To describe and compare attendance rates and the proportions of people identified with Type2 diabetes mellitus in people with previously unknown diabetes who participated in screening programmes undertaken in general practice in the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands as part of the ADDITION-Europe study. Methods In Cambridge, routine computer data searches were conducted to identify individuals aged 40-69years at high risk of Type2 diabetes using the Cambridge Diabetes Risk Score. In Denmark, the Danish Diabetes Risk Score was mailed to individuals aged 40-69years, or completed by patients visiting their general practitice. In the Netherlands, the Hoorn Symptom Risk Questionnaire was mailed to individuals aged 50-69years. In these three centres, high-risk individuals were invited to attend subsequent steps in the screening programme, including random blood glucose, HbA 1c, fasting blood glucose and/or oral glucose tolerance test. In Leicester, eligible people aged 40-69years were invited directly for an oral glucose tolerance test. In all centres, Type2 diabetes was defined according to World Health Organization 1999 diagnostic criteria. Results Attendance rates ranged from 20.2% (oral glucose tolerance test in Leicester without pre-stratification) to 95.1% (random blood glucose in opportunistic screening in Denmark in high-risk people). The percentage of people with newly detected Type2 diabetes from the target population ranged from 0.33% (Leicester) to 1.09% (the Netherlands). Conclusions Screening for Type2 diabetes was acceptable and feasible, but relatively few participants were diagnosed in all participating centres. Different strategies may be required to increase initial attendance and ensure completion of screening programmes.