Diabetes mellitus is the fourth largest cause of death in the European Union. Approximately 32 million people in the EU live with Type Diabetes (T2D), many of whom are unaware of their condition. Diabetes care takes up a significant amount of the health costs. T2D is strongly associated with being overweight and obese, the prevalence of which is rapidly increasing. In conjunction with the demographic evolution towards an ageing population and changing food environments, the prevalence of T2D is set to increase. In view of these developments the capacities of the health systems in the EU Member States with regard to treatment and care must be strengthened. One of the critical success factors to address diabetes is the investment in the self-management capacity of patients. However several questions must be addressed before large scale implementation. Firstly, while DSME for people with diabetes has been shown to have positive outcomes, the cost-effectiveness of these interventions is not sufficiently substantiated. Secondly, while the effectiveness of DSME education could be enhanced by methods using information technology, the relative effectiveness of these approaches has not been well researched. Thirdly, the success of a diabetes education program depends on the quality of its implementation, which in the case of diabetes self-management has hardly been researched at all. Fourthly, the effectiveness of DSME also depends on various patient characteristics. Apart from age, sex and ethnicity, the level of health literacy plays a key role. However, while low literacy is likely to impede self-management, its moderating role in improving self-management behaviours in persons with diabetes has not yet been systematically investigated. Finally, the (cost-) effectiveness of DSME also depends on the organization of the health services.