Lithuania, Serbia & Montenegro and Ukraine will be joining the third annual Junior Eurovision Song Contest, according to the official website of the city of Hasselt. 19 countries will be participating in the 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, according to the list published last week. In theory, one more country can join before EBU's limit of 20 countries will be reached.
The list came to our attention before the weekend, but without confirmation of the European Broadcasting Union and the host broadcasters, all lists seem to be speculative. Over the past days, we have been trying to verify the list for you to provide you with the most accurate information – a hard job during the weekend – but the EBU and VRT/RTBF could not confirm the 19 country names. Close sources to the Ukrainian national broadcaster NTU confirmed to esctoday.com that the country will be joining the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this year.
These are the 19 countries to appear in Hasselt, according to a list on the city's website:
7. FYR Macedonia
15. Serbia & Montenegro
19. United Kingdom
Three countries join the contest
The participant list of the 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest features the 16 countries that participated in the first Contest in Copenhagen in 2003. Since last year when 18 countries participated in Lillehammer, the contest has lost two of its participants: France and Switzerland. But… three other countries are joining the contest in its third edition. With Lithuania, Serbia & Montenegro and Ukraine, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is geographically moving eastwards.
The 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest takes place in the Ethias Arena of Hasselt on 26th November 2005. Esctoday.com will extensively be covering the national selections across Europe and the preparations in Belgium.