UEFA has confirmed that Euro 2020 will take place across a number of cities on the continent rather than in a single country or two host nations.
The decision, to mark the 60th anniversary of the inaugural European Championship, was taken by UEFA's Executive Committee at a meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino told a press conference after the meeting: "Some important decisions have been taken. UEFA Euro 2020 will be staged across the continent, in various major cities following a decision taken today.
"A Euro for Europe follows an initial idea by UEFA president Michel Platini. The response has been extremely positive from all the national associations.''
The format and number of cities that will be involved in the tournament will be decided by UEFA's National Team Competitions Committee. It is believed matches will be held in 12 or 13 different countries, with the final stages all taking place in one venue.
The Football Association has already put forward Wembley to UEFA as a possible venue for the final and semi-finals, and it is reported that Platini favours the FA's proposal.
The announcement will also give Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland hope of hosting some of the matches as they too have already expressed their interest to UEFA.
Infantino confirmed that the bidding process for the host cities would start in March and would take a year with decisions made in the spring of 2014.
It will be the first time that the tournament has not been held by a single host or joint-host countries since its inception in 1960, however, UEFA insists it is a one-off.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report