By Zjan Shirinian

The European Games will open in Baku on June 12 ©AGP/Getty ImagesJanuary 17 - National Olympic Committees (NOCs) taking part in next year's inaugural European Games in Baku will get a slice of a multi-million-Euro pot of cash to encourage them to send their best athletes to the Games.

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) Executive Committee today approved the funding package during their meeting in Lausanne.

Each of the 49 EOC member NOCs will receive an equal slice of €2.5million (£2 million/ $3.3million), intended to help them prepare for the Games in the Azerbaijani capital.

They will also have access to a separate source of funding, believed to be of a similar amount, which will reward them for sending their best athletes to Baku by distributing the money based on competitors' national rankings.

The EOC agreed to give funding to European Sport Federations using the Games as a qualification competition for the Olympics in Rio 2016, and they will receive a participation fee based on the standing of each sport in the Olympic Movement.

These two pots of cash are also believed to be of a similar size to the two amounts agreed for EOCs.

The money is coming from part of a fixed fee paid by Baku 2015 to the EOC.

European Olympic Committees President Patrick Hickey said the agreement was part of a 'very important and productive day' ©AFP/Getty Images European Olympic Committees President Patrick Hickey said the agreement was part of a 'very important and productive day' ©AFP/Getty Images

Today's meeting was chaired by EOC President Patrick Hickey, and opened by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

"It has been a very important and productive day for the European Olympic Committees," said Hickey

"I am particularly grateful to President Bach for continuing the tradition of hosting the first EOC Executive Committee meeting of the year and joining us here at the IOC Headquarters.

"Naturally Baku 2015 dominated our proceedings this morning as we only have 511 days to go until the Opening Ceremony and there is no time to lose.

"However, we have moved forward in a number of areas and, in particular, I am pleased that today we approved the model for distribution of funds based on Baku 2015 revenues to our NOCs and the European Federations.

"It is important to realise that there is a direct link between delivering best possible competitors in Baku 2015 and the maximum value of funds that can be received by our members and stakeholders."

The funding model, which won unanimous approval, was proposed by chairman of the EOC Coordination Commission for Baku 2015, Spyros Capralos.

Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister for Sport and Youth and chief executive of Baku 2015, was also at the meeting.

The Games are due open in Baku on June 12 next year.