ORF the national broadcaster of Austria has confirmed they will not be participating in the 2016 Eurovision Young Musicians Contest.
The withdrawal of Austria is a significant blow for the contest with the nation being the current champions of the contest. Austria had participated in every edition of Eurovision Young Musicians since its inception in 1982 and has won the competition a total of five times making it the most successful country in the competition. Furthermore the contest itself had up until the 2014 contest become associated with Austria through the hosting of the competition from 2006-2012.
ORF did not give a reason as to why they will not be participating in the competition next year in Cologne, but the news remains a large surprise.