Belgrade is set to stage the EOC Executive Committee meeting and two day seminar ©EOC

Progress by organisers of the Minsk 2019 European Games will be among topics of discussion at the 39th European Olympic Committees (EOC) Seminar in Belgrade.

The EOC Executive Committee are also set to hold their second meeting of the year prior to the seminar here in the Serbian capital city.

Their first meeting came in Lausanne during January, which was the first led by Janez Kocijančič following the Slovenian's election as EOC President on a permanent basis last year.

Officials from Minsk 2019 presented in Lausanne, where they announced there would be more medal events in archery, wrestling and canoe sprint at next year's Games.

Organisers are expected to provide further updates to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) at the seminar, as the countdown continues to the second edition of the multi-sport event.

A total of 12 NOCs were present on a visit to Minsk in March to assess progress, with the trip held alongside an EOC Coordination Commission visit.

The EOC said that the seminar will show the evolution of the second European Games from the inaugural edition in Azerbaijan's capital Baku, through to Minsk and the 2023 event.

It is claimed the EOC hope to announce the host of the 2023 Games later this year.

Kocijančič would not name specific places that he believes are interested in playing host in 2023 when asked at the EOC General Assembly in November.

However, he answered "absolutely" when asked if they were targeting Western Europe.

It was claimed that "several" unnamed candidates had supposedly expressed interest in hosting the Games.

Minsk 2019 are set to provide a progress report to NOCs ©EOC
Minsk 2019 are set to provide a progress report to NOCs ©EOC

Progress on this front could prove an interesting topic of discussion here, with several European bids for Olympic Games collapsing due to a lack of public support in recent years.

In a bid to reverse this growing trend, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) released their latest reform measures in a document entitled "The New Norm: Candidature to Delivery to Legacy".

The document, unveiled in February, is aimed at reducing the costs of hosting the Games, which is hoped will change the minds of local people.

The New Norm is set to be one of the discussion points in Belgrade, with the IOC jointly collaborating with the EOC at the seminar.

Tokyo 2020 will also present their progress and gain feedback from NOCs, with nearly two years to go until the Games.

The seminar has previously provided a valuable opportunity for NOCs' concerns to be addressed, with accommodation issues raised regarding the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics at last year's meeting in Skopje, Macedonia.

Updates are also set to be given on the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) and the Games of the Small States of Europe, with the most recent editions of these events taking place in 2017.

Erzurum held the Winter EYOF last year, with the Turkish city now a candidate to stage the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Győr in Hungary hosted the Summer EYOF, with Baku poised to stage next year's edition.

San Marino held the Games of the Small States of Europe last year, with the country set to be succeeded by Montenegro in 2019.

EOC President Janez Kocijančič will chair his second Executive Committee meeting of the year tomorrow ©EOC
EOC President Janez Kocijančič will chair his second Executive Committee meeting of the year tomorrow ©EOC

The EOC will also officially announce the appointment of Lausanne-based Mitchell Communications Agency (MCA) as their public relations consultants.

The company are run by former IOC media relations employee, Andrew Mitchell.

Preparations for Minsk 2019 is expected to be the main area where MCA will be required to assist the EOC in the short-term.

Criticism of Belarus' censorship and poor human rights standards are bound to dominate coverage of the event, as they did before Baku 2015.

MCA will replace British-based JTA, who had assisted the EOC's communications drive in Baku as well as during their re-branding and logo launch in 2016.

It is the fourth time that the Serbian National Olympic Committee has hosted a major EOC event.

Serbia previously hosted a seminar in 2004, followed by an EYOF in 2007 and a General Assembly in 2010.

A total of 50 NOCs are expected to attend the seminar.