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Eurovision 2013: New Rules May Exclude Belarus, Azerbaijan or even Russia


EBU – The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was arguably the most controversial edition in the contest’s history due to human rights and freedom of the press infringements in the host country Azerbaijan. The newspaper Dagens Nyheter and several websites now report, that Nordic countries and the United Kingdom have now pushed for new ethics for the European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the contest.

The new rules apparently contain, all the competing countries in the Eurovision Song Contest must be democratic, and that dictatorships can not participate.

The details were presented at a meeting attended by representatives of the public service companies of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

In addition to the Nordic countries the United Kingdom and Austria also pushed for an ethical sharpening of the rules. The EBU will allegedly have the right to exclude existing members or prevent them from participating in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The new rules, which according to the newspaper were formally adopted at the EBU conference in Strasbourg in late June, highlights the basic requirements of  democratic rights that need to be respected by a participating country.

These new rules may affect Belarus as well as this year’s host country Azerbaijan. Other countries that come to mind are Putin’s Russia and the Ukraine, which has come under fire for arresting former prime minister Julia Timoschenko. What do you think?

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148 comments on “Eurovision 2013: New Rules May Exclude Belarus, Azerbaijan or even Russia

  1. I am in love with the Eurovision (highlight of my year lol) but it has become completely concentrated on politics. Its Pathetic! Its called a song contest! Its supposed to be about the song. Its called the EUROvision, members/performers should be EUROpean countries. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Iran etc are in the Middle East! I personally dont think countries outside Europe should be legible to participate. Makes no sense to me. . . countries beside Europe aren’t in Europe! But it should return to being about the SONG! not about your neighbors!

    • what’s your definition of Europe?

      • My definition?? There are physical/non physical boundary lines that define Europe! The Middle East is not in Europe its beside it. You seem to be getting your knickers in a twist over everything said on this! Calm down! Azerbaijan along with many others are not in Europe… FACT! so its not really my definition

        • Really, it’s anyone within range of the EBU, regardless of whether they’re in Europe or not. Obviously something as far as the United States or China would NOT be able to participate, but Azerbaijan, Israel, several other countries, and even Morocco are eligible to participate optionally. It was originally known as the Eurovision Grand Prix, not even containing the words “Song Contest”… Ironically enough. But I do agree that it shouldn’t focus on politics, although clearly countries vote for their neighbours or for whomever they hold good relations with.

        • but there is no definition of Europe and the one that exists includes Azerbaijan (the Greater Caucasus range), after USSR collapse and following the USSR borders, making Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan (!) transcontinental. Armenia is fully in Asia (geographically). Turkey has a tiny part in Europe – also transcontinental. Not sure why you mentioned Iran earlier – it is not and cannot be even discussed to be part of Europe.

          Caucasus – is just that – we are not FULLY Europe, OK, but we are not Asia and not Middle East either! We are right in the crossroads giving the Caucasian states to choose to they want to be in and seems the world (governments, organisations) has accepted Caucasus as Europe. How we choose – politically, culturally. Why we can choose? Apart form the mixed geography, the history (including the most ancient) gives us such prerogative! And we have chosen. Yes we have been raided, taken over, influenced by the Middle Eastern culture and people as a result are mixed. But guess what, if you visit Caucasus you will find Nordic types here in the upper highlands (ethnic aboriginals), arabic (Levantine) types and most prominently, Mediterranean types (the majority). Also very very rare but for the sake of it deserving to be mentioned few Indian types (yep, the effects of the Silk Road). Azeris, in turn are of distinct Caspian type of the white race but it looks a lot like Corsican, Sicilian, Greek, Southern French types. Caspian people have heads like Nordics (long sculls) but dark hair (can be also ginger, blond, light brown – in 20% of population), dark eyes (can be also blue – all shades, green – all shades, hazel, grey – in 35% of population) and easily tanning skin (which makes us dark but in reality we are not. thanks to 280 sunny days a year we get very tanned, except about 30% people if not more can never get a tan). Features – typical Caucasian but due to some influences may have some Asian look (like in Russians but dark) although Asian genes don’s show in the population at all. Phenotypes are a strange thing. Some regions of Azerbaijan are darker, some are lighter. Some are mixed. Some blond blue eyed Caspian types cannot be told apart form Nordic but are shorter. So, unless you come to Azerbaijan and see how people look like nowhere else in the world but like in Caucasus you can understand that you cannot easily brush us away like not European, especially having experienced our mentality and culture, life style and preferences. We surely are not Middle Eastern. yes we were under influence which we have always resisted (Iran-Azerbaijan and Arab-Azerbaijan wars) and now as soon as we have the chance, we get rid of it (as much as we can but preserving the formed culture and traditions, cannot escape that) in a sense of life style and culture. This is what you, Europe caught unawares, is experiencing now… To you great surprise of course – Russia has hidden this secret away for long enough to wipe us out form the world’s mental map!

          • Get off your high horse will ye! Its the internet what makes you think I give a shit! Stop implying that every fucking person is racist towards Azerbaijan! I didnt mention how anybody looked! I didnt mention culture, language, landscape! I simply said borders! Perhaps you should fuel how much you care to preach about how amazing Azerbaijan is because it was raided and beat down for years, and put it towards actually making a difference and educating people, outside of a Eurovision blog! Being ignorant to people online aint guna change anything!

        • but Azerbaijan,Armenia are in the Council of EUROPE

    • And what about ISRAEL??? So what? is it also EUROPE? Also you should check for Europe MAP, not European Union Map…

    • Excuse me but Turkey is not in the Middle East like Iran or Iraq. It’s in Asia and it’s got a part in Europe, too.

      • Sorry, this is quite an ignorant comment. Middle East is part of Asia :-) it’s actually Southwest Asia. Tukey is Southwest Asia and Europe. Caucasus is in Southwest Asia and Europe :-)

    • I think Australia should be included… after all, lots of our population descend from Europe… AND WE LOVE EUROVISION!

      • What about Asiavision? If India isn’t interested anymore, simple start with 6 Countries & in 50 years, you will have 43 Participants,too;)

        • The thing is that Asiavision wanted to start since long ago, and nowadays we are waiting for any news if it’s going to start these year (2013) or it will be postponed another year, like it has been for the past what, 5 years? I could understand that India is not interested anymore… They have had the same song and artist for all these years and no competition has been held!!

      • They might be making a sort of spin off called “Our Voice” which will work in the same way as Eurovision but with parts of Asia and Australasia. they were gonna start in 2011 but didn’t for some reason.

    • You need to do some reading; none of the countries you mentioned above are in Middle East with the exception of Iran which can never even consider being part of Eurovision contest. You probably had a field day on your world Geography class. Not too late though, You’ve really got to start hitting the books.

  2. Just a curious question, if the Eurovision was in Armenia, would Azerbaijan do the same thing as Armenia and withdraw?

    • No, dont; think so! We woudl go there as we have nothing to be scared of – we have not done all the atorcities towards Armenians to be scared of their retalliation and revenge. They are scared to come to us becasue they know they are guilty. Imagine Nazis coming to the Red Square in 1946? What woudl be the Soviet’s reaction? if some international event demanded they cfame, they’s probably accept and guarantee security (as did Azerbaijan) but then Nazis woudl have remmebered all the aotrocities they have caused and woudl br scared to come. In case of Amrenians they always use Azeri songs in their music – be it folklore or authored by known composers or songwriters and pefromed by known Azeri singers. They improvise it a bit, sign udner it and call it theirs (pure plagiarism). Like the song Jan-Jan they sang was ripped off Azeri composer of 1950-60s Tofiq Quliyev’s “Naxchivani”. Watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlrdKPIYMAA
      nd read this http://gulustan.ws/2012/03/another-armenian-tragicomedy-over/ and

      So they knew they could not come woth yet another Azeri rip off song and perform in in Azerbaijan without the risk of being booed (at least). As they are unbale to create their own music, and they knew they had no face to show in Azerbaijan after the atrocities, they decided not to come :-) And blamed it on Azerbaijan yet again!

  3. Turnip, sorry to say it, but you’re talking bollocks. Europe is the area north of the mediterranean and west of the urals and black sea. Caucasus is central asia, regardless of how white the people are. Moscow is the eastern most city in europe. Azerbaijan is in asia, and so is anything ending in “stan” whether it used to be in the USSR (which borders both china and japan, neither of which are in europe).

    • the difference between Asia and Europe are put there, there is no Geographical difference, they share the same plate.

  4. Gosh… I am reading whole discussion and becoming more and more surprised by people’s hate. All we are human guys….
    I have been to United States and Europe and lived there for a long period of time. I am glad that not all people are like you guys here. So I won’t say things like you did.. I am from Baku, Azerbaijan. And nobody on this Earth has the right to blame me for being Azerbaijani or to tell outrageous things about me and my land. And the war situation in my country is a very sad thing and stop telling drivels about Azerbaijan has stolen lands of the other country. You don’t know the hisstory at all… I live here and I know, and I have seen the people who have lost their families in their land and have been driven away from their land, from their homes. It’s very sad that you people sound like far away from humanity.
    Your talking here like a master of the world sounds just funny to me.

  5. Today is the Pussy Riot verdict. Let’s see what freedom of speech is worth in Russia.

  6. Exclude Ukraine until they free Yulia Tymoshenko and all other political prisoners. They don’t deserve to take part if they can’t abide by European Union laws and deny human rights. The only way they’ll learn is to be excluded.

  7. basa dusmurem ananizi sikim

  8. That was really interesting – that nordic organisers of this so called music “contest” are trying to stop countries with dictorship to participate in the contest. But the fact is that this contest is far from a fair democratic contest. I won’t say much about other countries but about Sweden the one is going to arrang this year 2013 the European Song Contest. The main figure responsible for arranging the contest in Sweden is Christer Björkman. He has been critised year after year for the way he selects artists/groups and killing so many talents by not give a fair chance to new and real talents. In a Swedish TV program “Uppdrag granskning” which critised him for his way of arranging the contest. He answered to a question by saying that “taking part in the contest is not a democratic right”, he was pointing out that he can select any artist or group he wants. Is it not common to hear such comments from a dictator? He has been responsible for the contest since 2002.
    What är pitty such a interesting music contest instead of giving a fair democratic chance to anyone who has a talent is killing talents.
    There is alot talks about spreading and strengthning democracy in EU. Arranging contests like this in a democratic way can be a way spreading democracy, by allowing anyone to take part and arranging contests on local level through out the countries, winners to contest on regional level and national level.

  9. fredrik-A lot of people would agree with you.MInd you-melodifesten is fantastic normally -lets see if Björkman messes it up.

  10. Eurovision is totally unfair ! All the middle eastern countries are voting for each other ! It should only be countries that are in the European Union . I have lost interest in the contest because of this .

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