In the wake of news about the changed 2014 procedures, Executive Supervisor of the contest, Jon Ola Sand, has stressed to fans that fairness is the top of the list for the EBU.
As reported today, the EBU has seemingly bowed in to pressure from fans for transparency with jury voting. Speaking to Eurovision.tv, Sand emphasised that the organisation “will always do our utmost to secure a fair result“. The official cogs have been turning behind the scenes on these changes for fairness, and were finally approved and agreed last week.
Acknowledging the organic process, which has seen the Eurovision Song Contest format morph almost constantly over the past few years, Sand explains how this step is a logical conclusion of those years of rule-tightening and information-gathering. However, those interim years will not be illuminated with this new ethos of fairness; the new rules will be applied retrospectively. Fans eager for 2013 breakdowns will be disappointed, as Sand is clear: “this is not an option“.
For now, the EBU is hoping fans content themselves with complete transparency of the 2014 juries, something which may conversely worry some fans, expecting pressure on certain jury members to vote a particular way. In response, Sand is confident: “We believe in the independence of every jury member“. The very fact that each individual’s votes are on display after the contest is, he hopes, enough to deter wrongdoing.
On the specific subject of the vote-rigging scandals that rocked the 2013 post-contest period, Sand underlines the serious line the EBU continues to take, although “this is not in the first place about punishing“. If the investigations do turn up proof of member broadcaster involvements, then the Committee “will impose sanctions“. However, the greater goal is to prevent further infringements, and the EBU puts its revised 2014 rules forward as one of the cornerstones of this strategy.