The European Olympic Committee (EOC) voted on Saturday to launch a new European Games multi-sport competition with the first event taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015.
The EOC held a secret ballot at its 41st General Assembly in Rome with 38 voting in favour, eight against and three abstaining.
The event, which will take place every four years, will include 15 Olympic sport and two non-Olympic sports which are yet to be chosen.
There has been considerable opposition to the idea of a new Games event, particularly from the European Athletics Association which has already voted against the participation of its members.
The EOC is also likely to have problems convincing other sports that already have well-established events in a packed European calendar, with swimming being one of the key Olympic sports that would struggle to find time for the new event.
Baku was the only city to offer itself as a candidate for the inaugural Games, which are likely to be held in May 2015.