Bosnia &Herzegovina: No Eurovision comeback due to EBU’s sanctions and financial problems.

Bosnia &Herzegovina: No Eurovision comeback due to EBU’s sanctions and financial problems.

BHRT , the Bosnian national broadcaster has been facing the latest years severe financial problems and has been sanctioned by EBU due to its debts towards the union. This situation has kept the country away from the Eurovision Song Contest the years from 2013 and on wards, with a one year break in 2016 and a withdrawal from then until this year.

Therefore, a potential Eurovision return of the country requires a improvement of its financial situations and a settlement of the debt to EBU.

According to local media , the country’s comeback is unlikely for the near future as long as the sanctions remain and the EBU debt burdens its financial status. However , German composer and Eurovision veteran Ralph Siegel  offered to sponsor the costs of  the country’s Eurovision participation in Lisbon. He even proposed to take care of producing and composing of the Bosnian entry with the condition that Bosnian folk singer Hanka Paldum should perform the song. This offer was rejected then due to the whole financial situation of the broadcaster.

But Ralph came back with a new offer to the Bosnian broadcaster, this time to cover a potential participation of the country in next year’s Eurovision in Israel. Ms. Lejla Babovic (Bosnian Head of Delegation) stated on the subject speaking to

Last year we could not accept this offer because we did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. We left this option open this year and contacted the EBU about the possibility of BHRT’s participation in  Eurovision 2018. Unfortunately, BHRT is still under EBU sanctions. The EBU have told us that BHRT can not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest until it resolves the court process and does not see how it will start paying off  its debts that amount over 6 million Swiss francs.

The statement above pretty much clears things out if a Eurovision return ofr Bosnia is likely to happen for next year’s Eurovision. EBU  put sanctions on  BHRT in December 2016, when EBU deprived the channel of the right to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest. The Bosnian broadcaster still faces severe financial problems and is struggling not to close. Unfortunately this situation is the big obstacle to a soon return despite Ralph Siegel’s offer.

Ralph Siegel is well know in the Eurovision family as he is behind several ESC entries in the past. Some of those are Just Get Out of My Life sung by Andrea Demirović (Montenegro 2009 -11th place in 1st semi final) , all of Valentina Monetta’s entries the four times she participated in the Contest.  Nicole and Ein bißchen Frieden, that brought victory to Germany in 1982 . Additionally he has been involved in many national final entries.

Bosnia & Herzegvina debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in  1993. Best placing for the country was in Eurovision 2006, 3rd place  with Hari Mata Hari and the song Lejla. In 2016 the country was represented by Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner & Jala and their song  Ljubav je, which failed to qualify to the grand final as they ended in the 11th place in the semi final with 104 points .

Angelo D.

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