The host nation of Junior Eurovision 2018 are aiming for 18 countries to take part in the contest which will take place in November.
Speaking with the official web portal for Belarus, the organisers of this years Junior Eurovision Song Contest have spoken of their aims for the competition in Minsk. One of the major aims that the organisers have is to see 18 countries take to the stage of the Minsk Arena.
Olga Salamaka explained that:
We, of course, will try to make concessions, come up with bonuses to attract a maximum of countries. If there are more people, we will ask to increase the permissible threshold. The more countries, the more the audience, therefore, is more popular than the show.
Currently the rules of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest allow a maximum of 18 countries to compete in the contest. The Steering Group and European Broadcasting Union would have to agree to increase the number of countries that could compete.
Only once in the history of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest have 18 countries taken part in the contest. At the second edition of the contest in Lillehammar, Norway, a total of 18 countries competed including Switzerland and France who made their first and only appearances in the competition. Last year in Tbilisi, Georgia, 16 countries took part including the return of Portugal to the competition, while Bulgaria and Israel withdrew.
The 2018 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Minsk, Belarus after the country won the bidding process before the 2017 contest even began. The first time Belarus held a Eurovision event was at the 2010 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, when it was also held at the Minsk Arena.
To date the following countries have confirmed their participation in the contest: