EBU member states map

Where are they?

Not all members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) participate in Eurovision Song Contest – Where are they? Here is a rundown of those nations

Most Eurovision fans and even some who are not are well aware of the disaster that effected Ukraine's participation in 2019. We can only hope that they will return in 2020. It is only with full participation that the true effects of the Eurovision Song Contest can be felt. Cooperation and unity can only be found if every member is at the table. That being said there are many nations the talk the EBU talk but don't walk the EBU walk. There are also some that would like to but can't for various reasons.

Nations that have participated in the past


Andorra participated from 2004 to 2009 through their EBU member broadcaster RTVA. They did not manage to reach the final in any of the attempts. Their participation also added to the opinion of some about geopolitical voting as most of Andorra's votes went to Spain, their closest neighbor geographically and culturally. Owing to financial difficulties they have abstained from the contest and at once even nearly lost their EBU membership. I can only hope they can manage to return. Their entries being sung in Catalan brought a new language into the fold.

Bosnia & Herzegovina frequently reached the final in their several trips to the contest, although their last participation in 2016 wasn't nearly as fruitful. Their best result was a 3rd place in 2006. Financial difficulties have kept them out of the ESC and until their debts to the EBU are paid it may be tough for them to return. One can only hope that they can overcome these monetary problems and rejoin us.

Bosnia & Herzegovina 2006: Hari Mata Hari - "Lejla"

Bulgaria has participated fairly consistently since 2005 save for a short break in 2014 & 2015. They were noticeably absent from the contest last year which was strange considering the popularity of their 2018 entry "Bones". Although their best finish came in 2017 with "Beautiful Mess" which reached 2nd in the final. Also gaining huge popularity was Poli Genova who actually represented the nation two separate times in 2011 & 2016. Bulgaria cited financial difficulties for missing the 2019 contest. Hopefully they will find their way back to us.

Bulgaria 2016: Poli Genova - "If Love Was a Crime"

Luxembourg was one of the founding members and between 1956 and 1993 they only missed one year in 1959. The national broadcaster RTL consistently cites financial difficulties even though The Duchy of Luxembourg is a banking mecca and one of the wealthier nations in the EBU. They attained five wins in their time with us and even had the pleasure of presenting Lara Fabian to the world. She finished 4th in 1988 but what can you do when competing against Celine Dion. They broadcast television and radio in at least six different languages although their entries were almost always in French or Luxembourgish. Throughout the years there have many much talk and rumors about the geographically small nation returning to the contest but, although there is huge public interest, there is little actual movement in that direction.

Luxembourg 1983: Corinne Hermès - "Si La Vie Est Cadeau"

Monaco despite it's petite size has managed to compete 23 times from 1959 to '79 and then again from 2004 to 2006. Despite frequent success their only victory came in 1971 by Severine. Originally the principality left the contest citing financial issues. Their second departure was brought on by their problems with the new voting system and issues with geopolitical voting. Ironic since most of their votes came from France which is a similar situation as Andorra and Spain. That being said a return to the contest is unlikely. TMC, the national broadcaster has since been bought by TF1 and so is no longer an exclusive monagast broadcaster.

Morocco participated in the contest in 1980 with an 18th place finish. To date it is the only African nation to have participated. After the 1980 contest King Hassan II decreed that the nation would never again return to the contest. Of course that was through the broadcaster SNRT. There is now a rival in 2M TV and if the talks go well there may be a chance for Morocco to return to the contest and once again be the only African nation to participate.

Slovakia seems to be an obvious participant considering all their neighbors participate but they have been absent since 2012. The nation has explained this citing financial difficulties despite being able to send a representative to the Eurovision Young Dancers contest in 2015. Perhaps they will return soon, one can only hope.

Flag of Turkey

Turkey has been a frequent participant and a frequent critic of the ESC. First appearing in 1975 and then again in 1978 and then consistently from 1980 through 2012 only skipping 1994. In 2003 they achieved a first place finish and in 2004 hosted the contest in Istanbul. Despite their success they have been a consistent critic of the voting system of the contest. They also draw issue with the 'inclusivity' of the contest and the participation of Israel, a sentiment shared, unfortunately, by several other nations.

Nations who would like to participate or have attempted to

Kosovo has had sights set on participation since 2008. Since RTK is not a member of the International Telecommunications Union it is not eligible at this time for EBU membership. Another issue is their status internationally. Kosovo is not recognized by 19 other EBU members although four of them don't participate in the contest. Kosovo was able to send a representative to the Eurovision Young Dancers contest in 2011. Perhaps the future will bring them into the fold.

Flag of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein has been working towards participation since the founding of their national broadcaster, 1FLTV, in 2008. They are currently trying to raise the money for EBU membership, a meager 300,000 euros. If 1FLTV can manage to acquire EBU membership status you can bet you'll see a Liechtensteiner entry in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Lebanon is a full EBU member through their broadcaster TL, Tele Liban. They were all set to participate in the contest in 2005 but withdrew before the deadline because of issues with the participation of Israel. It is against Lebanese law to air any Israeli content, obviously this goes against all that the ESC stands for. Perhaps someday they will come to join us.

Tunisia is also a full EBU member through ERTT. They had their entry prepared for 1977 but ultimately withdrew because of the participation of Israel. It is highly unlikely that Tunisia or Lebanon will join us anytime soon.

EBU member nations who have never participated

These countries include Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Libya. These four nations are also members of the Arab States Broadcast Union (ASBU) and, considering Israel, they will most likely never participate in the contest. Vatican City is also an EBU member through their radio broadcaster RV and in fact they are a founding member of the EBU but it is very unlikely that they would ever participate as their only television broadcaster is dedicated to papal events and not song contests.

About the author: Christopher Carlson (United States)

Christopher Carlson is our American correspondent. His interest in Eurovision began in high school when his Spanish teacher would often play "Eres Tu" by Mocedades for the class. Later encounters with Eurovision occurred upon discovering Secret Garden's "Nocturne". As a fan of history as well as music Christopher enjoys writing articles that discuss the roots and foundations of the Eurovision Song Contest. Topping the list of his favorite songs are "Heel de wereld" by Corry Brokken, "Eres Tu" by Mocedades, "Inje" by Vanya Radovanovic and "You are the only one" by Sergey Lazarev.

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