JESC 2018 EBU Press Conference: Jon Ola Sand: “We might see new countries participating in future Eurovision Song Contests”

JESC 2018 EBU Press Conference: Jon Ola Sand: “We might see new countries participating in future Eurovision Song Contests”

Last Evening the EBU press conference was held within the framework of Junior Eurovision 2018 in Minsk Arena in presence of the host, national broadcaster BTRC.

In the presence of the Chairman of the national broadcaster, Ivan Εismant, the Executive Supervisor of the contest, Jon Ola Sand,  answered to press questions , giving hints on the future of Junior Eurovision  and of course Seniors’ Eurovision couldn’t be left out in such occassion.

Junior Eurovision in the future

Speicifically, INFE Network’s correspondent in Mink, asked ο Jon Ola Sand what are EBU’s thoughts and plans for Junior Eurovision to receive the following answer:

Of course we are having ongoing thoughts on the future of  Junior Eurovision. This year as you already know we have had 20 countries participating which is a record number for the contest. So the question is where we go from here. Do we want the contest to grow bigger and have more countries coming in? If we grow the contest and the number of participating countries , will that mean the introduction of semi finals? The problem is that the broadcasters are already facing tight time limits to follow up their JESC participation. On the other hand a potential introduction of semi finals will prolong the duration of broadcasting the show and automatically the whole cost. So things are not so simple and there are many parameters to examine. 

And he concluded in saying:

For the time being we are enjoying a beautiful Junior Eurovision Song Contest right here in Minsk with 20 wonderfuul countries. For what will follow in the future we will be working on it in collaboration with the national broadcasters and we will take it step by step each time.  

Further on Jon Ola Sand stated that the next Junior Eurovision host country will be revealed after the current was is over. On this mentioned that there are already several broadcasters that have declared interest of hosting the contest.

Belarussian broadcaster on this year’s edition

Further on we addressed to the chairman of the Belarussian broadcaster a question, asking if the previous experience of hosting Junior Eurovision has helped them with this year’s preparations and what were the most important difficutlies they faced this year. Mr Eismant stated:

This year’s production team consists entirely of new people, therefore they didn’t have direct exprerience of the previous edition back in 2010. However an experience such as hosting a Eurovision event reamains always a useful source of information for the successors in such positions. This year we faced no severe difficulties cause we had ongoing help from the goverment and the EBU who contributed decisively in the preparations.  In 2010 from what i remember Belarus hosted a magnificant Junior Eurovision show, so it was a challenge for us this year to live up to similar expectations.

EBU on Eurovision Expansion

Additionally,  Jon Ola Sand asked on the matter of Eurovison expansion, he wanted to define the objective meanings of Eurovision and Europe itself. Precisely he stated:

The boundaries of  Eurovision do not coincide with Europe’s limits. EBU has in it organization member states that do not belong to Europe. Therefre there are countries in North Africa, such as Morocco, Tunisia, which are full members of EBU and have the right to participate in the contest. So there is a chance we see some of these countries in a future edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. So we shouldn’t confuse the limits and the meaning between Europe and Eurovision, as Eurovision is not only Europe.

Commenting on the potential participation of Kazakhstan he mentioned:

As already announced the country won’t be present in Tel Avin next May. However we are in ongoing discussions with Khabar Agency and will see this issue in collaboration with them in the near future. As you know EBU has regulations concerning the right of countries to participate in the contest , as it has space of exceptions for non members participation. But all these are subjex that we can examine and re examine in the future.

Another subject that came up was the tickets’ issue of the next Eurovision edition. More information on that you can get on yesterday’s separate post 

A press conference with EBU is always interesting and gives news that go on debate among fans. So what do you think of Eurovision Expansion? Should the Eurovision stay mainly European? Can Junior Eurovision grow further and become as big as Eurovision Song Contest each year? Drop a line with your comments.

Angelo D.

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