The European (UEFA) zone of qualification for the 1990 FIFA World Cup saw 32 teams competing for 13 places at the finals. UEFA members Italy qualified automatically as hosts of the finals. The qualification process started on 21 May 1988 and ended on 18 November 1989.
Teams were drawn into seven groups, four groups of five teams and three of four teams. All seven group-winners qualified automatically, with the runners-up in the four groups containing five teams (Groups 3, 5, 6 and 7) also qualifying. The two best second-placed teams in the three groups containing only four teams also qualified (Groups 1, 2 and 4). One second-placed team was therefore eliminated.
The draw for the qualifying groups took place in Zürich, Switzerland on 12 December 1987. During the draw teams were drawn from the 5 pots into the 7 groups. The seedings below were announced ten days before the draw.