"Today September 23rd, France and Germany, in coordination with a group of EU states, nominated Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus @DrTedros for the election of the @WHO Director-General to be held in May 2022," the permanent missions of France and Germany at the UN in Geneva both wrote in a tweet.
Other EU nations followed Berlin's lead and backed the Ethiopian former health and foreign minister, diplomatic sources told AFP.
Each country, among them Austria, France, Portugal and Spain, submitted a sealed envelope to the Geneva-based WHO.
The organisation will not open the envelopes before October 1. Then, a few weeks later, the list of candidates will be sent to the WHO's 194 member states, before being made public.
In 2017, Tedros became the first African to head the powerful UN agency.
The 56-year-old has been on the front line since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, making him one of the most familiar faces in the fight against the pandemic.