The idea of grouping the European National Olympic Committees (NOCs) under a single umbrella, which was inspired by Giulio Onesti (ITA), Raoul Mollet (BEL) and Raymond Gafner (SUI), was first muted in 1967 in Teheran, with the creation of what was later known as ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees)
Indeed, a first step in the creation of the Continental Association of European NOCs (AENOC) took place at the Assembly of Versailles in 1968, under the leadership of its first President, Count Jean de Beaumont (FRA), but it was not until 1975 in Lisbon that the Association had written statutes and a definitive name "The Association of European NOCs".
The 1980 General Assembly, with by then 33 members, elected Franco Carraro (ITA) as President of the European NOCs while the secretariat was entrusted to Adrien Vanden Eede (BEL).
The following year, five working groups were set up. Under different names and with a few changes, these groups kept supporting the Association's activities as the years went by.
During the 80's, the Association's traditional meetings - the General Assembly and the Seminar for Secretaries-General and Chefs de Mission - addressed the main topics: the preparation of the Olympic Games, Olympic Solidarity, marketing, etc. The OCOGs, the Organizing Committees for the future Olympic Games became permanent guests at these meetings.
In 1989, the Presidency was entrusted to Dr. Jacques Rogge (BEL) and the Secretariat was opened in Rome, at the office of Secretary-General Mario Pescante (ITA). The activities of the European NOCs expanded under their leadership.
Due to the political changes in Europe, starting in 1991, 15 more NOCs progressively joined the Association, bringing the total to 48 by 1994.
In 1995, the AENOC changed name to European Olympic Committees (EOC), for practical reasons. At the same time, its legally registered offices, which had until then been itinerant, were placed in Lausanne at the IOC, whilst its headquarters were placed in Rome, with the Italian National Olympic Committee.
In July 2001 during the 112th IOC Session in Moscow, Dr. Jacques Rogge became IOC President. Four months later in Monte Carlo, the 30th EOC General Assembly elected Mario Pescante as President of the European Olympic Committees while the General Secretariat is entrusted to Patrick Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland.
In December 2005, the General Assembly, held in Dublin (IRL), elected the Executive Committee for 2005-2009. President Mario Pescante (ITA), Vice President Alexander Kozlovsky (RUS), and Secretary General Patrick Hickey (IRL) were all three reconfirmed in their posts.
Following Mario Pescante’s resignation, an Extraordinary General Assembly was held in Rome on 29th July 2006, at which Patrick Hickey (IRL) was elected President and Raffaele Pagnozzi (ITA) Secretary General.
In 2007, the Association went through a phase of modernisation, with changes to its Articles of Association, the adoption of a more modern logo, and the creation of the post of an EOC Treasurer as distinct from the Secretary General.
Following the IOC’s recognition of the NOC of Montenegro in 2007, the members became 49.
In 2014, the NOC of Kosovo having been recognised by the IOC it became the fiftieth member of the EOC.