The EBU has begun to notify broadcasters about changes in the rules of future editions of the Eurovision Song Contest. The modifications to the rules were approved during a meeting of the Reference Group in Geneva in June. The German national broadcaster, ARD, shared a small part of the EBU information file which was sent to the national broadcasters online.
The EBU has reiterated that any lyrics and/or performance that would “bring the Shows, the ESC as such or the EBU into disrepute”. This included any political lyrics or gestures, swearing or promotion of any organisation during the performance.
In order to ensure the non-political nature of the event, the host broadcaster must ensure that all selected artists are able to perform in the contest without restriction.
Artist selection criteria
The EBU requests from 2018 onwards that the delegations are not to be composed of people under any restrictions on entering the corresponding host country.
The information file shared by ARD says:
“Neither selected artist nor any member of the delegation shall have any antecedents likely to prompt the host country’s national authorities to deny them access to the host country, in accordance with applicable national law.”
Independence of juries
The EBU has also made extended reference to the criteria that should be used by the national broadcasters before choosing the jury members.
Each jury member must not be related with the participating songs or artists in any way that could affect the final outcome. Their votes have to be the result of their judgement on the performances at the contest, based on their experience and professional skills.
Furthermore, each national broadcaster has to ensure that the jury members do not reveal any of their preferences and voting intentions before the voting process, neither to share information with the rest of the jury members. This follows several incidents of jurors revealing their preferences before the contest, including Per Sundnes, who was removed from the Norwegian jury this year after he made derogatory comments against this year’s Irish entry on NRK’s preview show Adresse Kiev.
Following huge delays to this year’s contest, which included the entire steering committee for Eurovision 2017 resigning, the EBU is set to be more strict when it comes to the host broadcaster and their compliance with the agreed timetables, to ensure the proper flow with the preparations and the hosting of the competition.
In the case of possible non-compliance from the broadcaster, the EBU will have the right to nullify the host broadcaster agreement and request another broadcaster to host the event.