The European Position Paper on Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyps 2012 is the update of similar evidence based position papers published in 2005 and 2007. The document contains chapters on definitions and classification, we now also proposed definitions for difficult to treat rhinosinusitis, control of disease and better definitions for rhinosinusitis in children. More emphasis is placed on the diagnosis and treatment of acute rhinosinusitis. Throughout the document the terms chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps (CRSsNP) and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) are used to further point out differences in pathophysiology and treatment of these two entities. There are extensive chapters on epidemiology and predisposing factors, inflammatory mechanisms, (differential) diagnosis of facial pain, genetics, cystic fibrosis, aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease, immunodeficiencies, allergic fungal rhinosinusitis and the relationship between upper and lower airways. The chapters on paediatric acute and chronic rhinosinusitis are totally rewritten. Last but not least all available evidence for management of acute rhinosinusitis and chronic rhinosinusitis with or without nasal polyps in adults and children is analyzed and presented and management schemes based on the evidence are proposed. This executive summary for otorhinolaryngologists focuses on the most important changes and issues for otorhinolaryngologists. The full document can be downloaded for free on the website of this journal: http://www.rhinologyjournal.com.