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  • Writer's pictureDale Roberts

EBU announce actions following review of the Eurovision Song Contest

Overnight the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced actions following the review into the Eurovision Song Contest.

The review was formed after a controversial year that included the disqualification of Joost Klein plus concerns over the welfare of artists.

The EBU, who run Eurovision, stated it was "an independent review, led by an independent industry expert."

It was revealed in an exclusive to Variety that Pernille Gaardbo was in charge of the review. She was the Executive Producer of the 2014 Contest in Copenhagen.

She is currently the Head of ReproUnion, a think tank dedicated to fertility collaboration across Europe.

The review gathered feedback from Heads of Delegation, members of the Eurovision Reference Group, the Contest's governing board and members of the EBU and Eurovision core team.

The EBU stated the review's actions are focused on three development: EBU Governance and Participation; Safety and Risk Management; Audience Engagement, Fans and Media.

Leadership shake-up with new roles

However, some key decisions in the approach of the leadership team have already begun.

The EBU stated that:

"A taskforce of senior leaders across the EBU and its Membership has been appointed to oversee decision making and implementation of changes in the above areas in the coming months."

The review also stated that the leadership team of Eurovision needed additional positions.

A new role of Eurovision Song Contest Director will oversee the existing Executive Supervisor position currently held by Martin Österdahl. They will also oversee a new Head of Eurovision Song Contest Brand and Commercial.

The Eurovision Song Contest Director will report to the EBU Deputy Director General and Media Director Jean Philip De Tender.

Artist welfare

In an interview with Variety, De Tender, said they had artists wellbeing in mind and were considering a new welfare role.

However, he also had a message for future artists looking to participate.

"We have a duty of care for the artists as well but also the artists need to understand that if you participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, what are the rules you’re contracting to?"

De Tender also referred heavily to the non-political ambitions of Eurovision.

"The EBU is a non-political organisation or a union of public service media broadcasters in Europe,” he told Variety.

"So what we bring is a non-political event. But clearly because the event has become so big, you see that geopolitical tensions can have an impact on the event, that it can have an impact on the artists."

"We welcome freedom of speech. We have seen [the] demonstrations in Malmo [against the participation of Israel in the contest following the conflict in the Middle East]. As public service media, it’s very important that people can express opinions and views. But the Eurovision Song Contest is non-political and needs to remain non-political.”

The three development areas

Below is the wording from the EBU on the development areas.

EBU Governance and Participation

This area will look at: clarifying the decision-making responsibilities of the various EBU Governing Bodies as it relates to the accepted list of participants, ensuring a wide range of Member opinions are heard; the remit of the governing bodies, and the responsibilities of the ESC Core Team; and the role of the Heads of Delegations and responsibilities of Participating Artists. 

Safety and Risk Management

This area will look at: improving understanding of the ESC rules across all stakeholder groups, including artists, with a focus on simplification, consolidation and improved accessibility; strengthening the existing ESC Crisis Management Protocols; and bolstering our security and cybersecurity provisions in light of increased needs. 

Ensuring a general-audience show and broad engagement

This area will look at: increased collaboration with fan groups, influencers, and media to build broader engagement based on ESC values; and ensure that the ESC continues to be an all-audience show appealing to a broad prime-time audience of all ages.

At this stage, these development areas defined by the EBU do not have any publicly announced actions.

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1 Comment

Ruth Oldfield
Ruth Oldfield
Jul 02

Is it just me or is this nothing but a big word salad?

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