A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Friday, November 21, 2014

New rules needed for small countries?

There was quite a bit of optimism going on in the Eurovision fan-world about a month ago, as it seemed Luxembourg's minister of culture had nodded her head in agreement with a demand for the grand duchy to return to the Eurovision Song Contest.

The minister in question soon stated in public she had been misunderstood and that she in no way had given her support to any project of the kind.

Luxembourg is generally believed to stay away mainly for financial reasons, something that often make people sigh and wonder why the richest country on the continent can't afford to take part.

Being the richest country on the continent is really the big problem for Luxembourg as the participation fee for each country is calculated in accordance with how large the audience is as well as the GDP of the country in question. It means RTL would have to pay an awful lot more per viewer than any other country in competition. Is that fair?

A country being wealthy does not necessarily mean that its state broadcaster is.

While Luxembourg is the most extreme example, this remains a real problem also for the microstates of Europe, like Monaco or Andorra. In theory all ESC participants are state broadcasters, while some more resemble local or regional tv stations financially.

If the EBU really means business with their scaling-down project, to make Eurovision less expensive and less enormous, then it would be a nice gesture to let the smaller countries take part while paying a little bit less. Let the bigger ones carry the smaller ones so everyone could participate.

And although Luxembourg isn't a microstate, maybe something could be done to make their fee - if they were to come back - seem a little bit less absurd.

Sophie Carle - 100 % d'amour (Luxembourg 1984)

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