Eurovision 2020: How many countries will participate in Rotterdam?

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 21,649 views

The Nertherlands is gearing up in full steam to welcome the Eurovision bandwagon along with its glam, glitz and glitter for the fifth time in ESC history. The country has kicked off preparations for the upcoming 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. How many countries will compete in the contest next year? Will there be any new countries joining the club? Will we see any returning nations? Will there be any withdrawals? Let’s check out who’s heading to Netherlands next year….

Circa 40 countries are expected to partake in the competition next year in The Netherlands. The maximum number of countries permitted to compete in next year’s contest is 44, whilst the Grand Final will feature a total of 26 nations battling for the coveted Eurovision trophy.

10 countries from each semifinal will proceed to the Grand Final, thus 20 nations will join the host country, The Netherlands and the Big Five (Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and France).

A total of 41 countries have confirmed their intention to compete at the forthcoming 2020 Eurovision Eurovision Song Contest in The Netherlands. We are expecting more countries to confirm their participation in the following weeks.

The deadline for broadcasters to apply for participation concluded on 16 September whilst grace period for applicant countries to withdraw their application without facing a financial penalty concluded on 10 October.

Will we see any debuts in 2020?

It is yet uncertain if we will see any new countries debuting in The Nethelands. Both Kosovo and Kazakhstan are keen to enter the competition but do not comply with the EBU’s rules and regulations in order participate in the contest.


Liechtenstein‘s national broadcaster 1FL TV is not an EBU member therefore it is not eligible to take part in the contest.


Kosovo is not a member of the ITU (International Television Union), one of  the key requirements to become an active EBU member. Thus RTK is not an EBU member and is currently ineligible to join the contest. The country is neither a member of the United Nations or the Council of Europe. The Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast live in the Balkan country in recent years.


Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency is an associate EBU member since 2016 and thus NOT ELIGIBLE to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest, Kazakhstan has to be formally invited by the EBU to join the competition. It is entirely up to the EBU’s discretion to extend an invite to the country very much like in the case of Australia. The Kazakh broadcaster has been airing the contest for the past years.

Kazakhstan  debuted at the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Minsk last year and is se to compete at the 2019 JESC edition in Poland, the country is quite keen to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The EBU has confirmed to ESCToday that it will be not extending an invite to Kazakh national broadcaster Khabar Agency in order to participate at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.

Will we see Australia in Rotterdam?

The ultimate Aussie Eurovision dream saw the day of light back in 2015 when our neighbours down under were invited to partake in Europe’s favourite television show in Vienna. This year Australia held a full fledged national final in order to determine its Eurovision hopeful, thus celebrating its fifth consecutive Eurovision participation.

Until now SBS had to wait for an invite from the EBU and  host broadcaster in order to participate in our beloved song contest, on a year to year basis. This will no longer be necessary as SBS Australia and the EBU have sealed a five year deal enabling the country to compete in the song contest for the next five years.

The Eurovision Song Contest’s Reference Group (the governing body of the competition on behalf of the competing broadcasters) approved the decision to grant Australia and SBS the right to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest for the next five years, thus securing participation in the competition until 2023.

Australia was invited to participate at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna as a one off occasion, but our neighbours down under embraced the contest with such enthusiasm they were invited back again in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The Aussies have won the hearts of Eurovision fans near and far, achieving 4 Top 10 placings in their short four year Eurovision history.

Will there be any returning countries?

Bulgaria and Ukraine, both withdrew from Eurovision 2019 for different reasons.

Ukraine was initially set to compete in Tel Aviv in 2019, following the controversial national final and Maruv’s victory, the country decided to withdraw from ESC 2019.

The Ukrainians will be returning to the contest in 2020 after a year’s absence.

Whilst Bulgaria withdrew from the competition due to financial reasons, we are pleased that the country will be returning to the competition in Rotterdam after a year’s absence too.

Who will not return?

Andorra, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Monaco, Turkey and Bosnia & Herzegovina have all confirmed that they will not return to the competition in 2020.

It is also almost certain that Morocco will not return to the contest next year either, as the country has only participated once and has not returned since its debut in 1980.

Who will withdraw?

Initially there had been no indication from any of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest participating countries of withdrawing from the competition in 2020. We expected all 41 Eurovision 2019 participants to join the party in Rotterdam, but now it seems that some countries have had a change of fortunes.

Hungarian national broadcaster, MTVA, confirmed to ESCToday that Hungary will not compete at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam. Thus the forthcoming edition of A Dal will not determine the Hungarian Eurovision hopeful in 2020.

RTCG, the Montenegrin national broadcaster, confirmed to ESCToday that Montenengro will not compete  compete at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.

Thus both Hungary and Montenegro have withdrawn from next year’s competition.

Confirmed countries

  1. The Netherlands
  2. Germany
  3. Sweden
  4. Denmark
  5. Finland
  6. Norway
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Belgium
  9. Australia
  10. Serbia
  11. San Marino
  12. Albania
  13. Switzerland
  14. Lithuania
  15. Cyprus
  16. Slovenia
  17. Estonia
  18. Georgia
  19. Belarus
  20. Portugal
  21. North Macedonia
  22. Greece
  23. Croatia
  24. Israel
  25. Iceland
  26. Austria
  27. Azerbaijan
  28. United Kingdom
  29. Ireland
  30. Romania
  31. Spain
  32. Ukraine
  33. France
  34. Malta
  35. Poland
  36. Italy
  37. Latvia
  38. Armenia
  39. Bulgaria
  40. Russia
  41. Moldova

Will not return

No debut

The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held at the Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands on 12, 14 and 16 May.

The official list of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest participating countries is expected to be released by the EBU by the end of the year.