Assessment and examinations in Europe are known, in addition to shared features,  to display quite distinct characteristics, which reflect national/regional traditions. This is also true of language assessment and language examinations. In language education, there are also quite distinct patterns concerning the roles of national examinations and international examinations. In some countries the international examinations play an important role while in others they have a more marginal position. With the emergence of several conceptual tools, developed largely under the aegis of the Council of Europe during the past few decades (from the Threshold level to the CEFR and the Portfolio), there is a possibility to obtain increased transparency in assessment, examinations and certificates, which would promote mutual recognition of examinations and certificates. CEFR, in particular, offers an unprecedented opportunity in this respect. However, it cannot be used mechanically but requires thoughtful and informed application. If properly done, and documented, the chances of reconciling national assessment practice with CEFR-based asssessment are promising. This will be explored in the presentation.