The very first European Championship took place in Rome, Italy, back in 1948 and it featured six teams only. The format of the tournament and the number of participating teams have changed multiple times throughout the decades – but the 2019 edition coincided with a real 'revolution', since for the first time ever 24 nations were able to compete for the highest honours in European Volleyball, with the tournament being co-hosted by four countries. The same format was used in 2021 and was hosted by Poland, Czechia, Estonia and Finland.  As many as 15 countries have medalled at least once, with Russia leading the way with 22 medals in total, including 14 claimed by the former Soviet Union.  

The 32 European Championship tournaments for men have been won by nine different national teams. Russia have won fourteen times (twelve as Soviet Union). The other European Championship winners are Italy, with seven titles; Czech Republic as (Czechoslovakia) and Serbia (once as Yugoslavia), with three titles apiece; and France, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Spain, with one title each.  Pictured is the Soviet Union's captain Viacheslav Zaytsev standing on top of the podium after their win in East Berlin in 1983 for their seventh consecutive European crown.