Denmark, Norway and Sweden have announced a joint bid to host the European Handball Federation (EHF) European Championships in either 2026 or 2028.
The three nations are bidding for both the men’s and women’s tournaments under the name "Scandinavia Connect."
The countries say their aim is to host an EHF European Championships which will have innovation at its core to capitalise on the modern-day opportunities presented to the sport due to advances in technology.
It is claimed the Scandinavian countries hosting of the event will help European handball to have a stronger future.
This would reportedly be achieved through introducing EHF members to new ways of exchanging best practices, reaching untapped audiences and highlighting how events can be held more sustainably.
"Now is the right time for Scandinavia to join forces," said Per Bertelsen, Danish Handball Federation President.
"We believe we can build on the positive momentum we see in our sport.
"Together, we can deliver a world-class event that will be a true celebration for European handball, while also providing valuable solutions that will make all of European handball stronger for the future.”
The EHF has confirmed that Switzerland has submitted bids for the Men’s European Championships in 2026 and 2028.
Switzerland last hosted the tournament in 2006.
The Swiss bid promises "new heights for handball", with the preliminary round being played in Zurich, Basel and Lausanne.
The main round would be held in Zurich and Lausanne and the final weekend in Geneva.
Spain and Portugal have submitted a joint bid to host the men's competition in 2028, with their motto "We play under one anthem".
Portugal’s capital Lisbon would host two preliminary round groups and one main round group.
Madrid, Valencia, Malaga and Ourense are Spain’s host cities, with the second main round group and the final weekend are planned to take place in Madrid.
Russia has submitted a bid for the 2026 Women's European Championships, with the slogan "We can".
If their bid is successful, it would be the first time that a European handball championship is played in Russia.
Moscow and Saint Petersburg have been chosen as locations, with the final planned to be played in Russia's capital city.
The joint Denmark, Norway and Sweden bid faces no competition for the 2028 Women's European Championships.
Co-hosting of the European Championships has become increasingly common, with Hungary and Slovakia poised to share hosting duties for the men’s event in 2022.
Montenegro, North Macedonia and Slovenia will share the women’s event in the same year, before Austria, Hungary and Switzerland stage the 2024 competition.
Norway and Sweden already have experience of co-hosting the men’s European Championships, after staging the 2020 men’s event with Austria.
"Handball is strong across Europe, but we can always be stronger," said Kåre Geir Lio, Norwegian Handball Federation President.
"European handball members, both big and small, should be more connected to share experiences.
"And while we are already seeing a surge in social media, the opportunity to find new ways to connect to untapped audiences across the continent can’t be ignored.
"Scandinavia Connect is really just about building a stronger future for our sport."
"The commitment to finding sustainable solutions across all industries and areas of life is very clear in all of Scandinavia," said Frederik Rapp, Swedish Handball Federation President.
"To connect the Scandinavian approach and experience in sustainability with European handball is so valuable.
"Finding more sustainable solutions for future events could be a real game-changer for the future of our sport."
The three nations are among the most successful to have contested the European Championships.
Sweden are the record winners of the men’s competition having triumphed four times, as well as one runners-up finish.
Denmark have also won the men’s event on two occasions, while their current team are the reigning world champions.
Norway have been the dominant force in the women’s event with eight wins from 14 tournaments, while Denmark have triumphed on three occasions.
Each nation has experience of hosting the tournaments with Denmark hosting the women’s event three times as a sole host and as co-hosts with Norway in 2010.
Sweden staged the event in 2006 and 2016.
Sweden and Norway served as sole hosts for the men’s event in 2002 and 2008 respectively, before co-hosting with Austria in 2020.
Denmark were the 2014 host nation.