France and Italy will go head to head in the contest to host Euro 2016 and will also face competition from Turkey and a joint bid from Norway and Sweden.
The four bids have been submitted to UEFA and a final decision will be taken in May next year.
The candidates will have to submit bid dossiers by February 2010 and then UEFA officials will visit the bidding countries to evaluate their plans.
Italy also bid for Euro 2012, which is to be hosted by Poland and Ukraine, while France will hope the presence of Michel Platini as UEFA president will be in their favour.
Turkey's best hope will be to persuade UEFA's executive committee to take the tournament to a new country.
UEFA said in a statement: ‘France, Italy, and Turkey have informed UEFA they wish to submit a single bid, while a joint bid will be presented by Norway/Sweden.
‘UEFA will now review the eligibility of the interested candidates, based on the various technical requirements relating to the potential infrastructure needed as well as any previous experience of the relevant member associations, cities and venues in organising multi-venue sports events, before confirming the official list of bidders.’