Despite Kazakhstan being invited to participate in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in November, there are currently no plans for the EBU to extend this invitation for the country to be represented at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Israel.
Kazakhstan will make its debut at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this year with the broadcaster Khabar Agency taking control of the country’s participation. This will be the first time ever that the country will be present in any Eurovision event.
Khabar Agency is not currently a full member of the European Broadcasting Union and therefore can only participate at any Eurovision events by special invitation from the European Broadcasting Union.
This situation is similar to that with Australian broadcaster SBS. The country was first granted invitation as an associate member to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2015. The reasons for this were to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the contest as well as gratitude for Australia’s long term broadcasting of the contest. This invitation has been offered to Australia every year since and also extended to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
However, there are currently no plans by the EBU for Kazakhstan’s to receive such an invitation for the Eurovision Song Contest next year.
The EBU made a statement to fellow site ESCBubble with regards to Kazakhstan’s presence in Minsk in November and rule changes in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest:
It is at the discretion of the JESC Reference Group, which represents all participating broadcasters, to invite any EBU Associate that has expressed an interest, to take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for a single year. Khabar Agency, Kazakhstan’s participating broadcaster, is an EBU Associate and will participate in 2018.
The participation rules have not changed.
When asked about Kazakhstan’s potential position in the Eurovision Song Contest in future, the EBU said:
Only full EBU Members are eligible to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest although the ESC Reference Group may accept, at its discretion, an Associate Member as a “guest” participant in exceptional circumstances as it has previously done with Australia.
There are no plans to extend this arrangement to other Associate Members.
Kazakhstan are one of 19 countries that will be participating in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Minsk, Belarus. They will be making their debut alongside Wales. This is the highest number of participants that the contest has ever had. Kazakhstan’s entry for the contest is yet to be revealed however it was confirmed that a national selection will be taking place.