After several delays over the past months, the decision has been taken: 17 countries will participate in the 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place on 26th November in Hasselt, Belgium. The list is remarkable, as the EBU aimed for 20 countries in this year's junior contest. A new version of the official website junioreurovision.tv has been published as well!
Remarkable as well is the absence of the Ukrainian broadcaster NTU, which confirmed participation earlier this summer. As broadcaster France 3 didn't take the invitation to participate, Executive Producer Ludo Porrez suggested “France has more public broadcasting channels”. True, but still France is missing on the 2005 participants list.
The list contains two pleasant surprises as well; Russia will participate for the first time, just like Serbia & Montenegro. Russia's participation is an unexpected surprise, while the Serbian broadcaster already confirmed participation last week.
� F.Y.R. Macedonia
� The Netherlands
� Russia (new!)
� Serbia & Montenegro (new!)
� United Kingdom
The running order will be decided on 13th October in Brussels. Which country will organise the 2006 Junior Eurovision Song Contest has not yet been announced.
The 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest will not only be broadcast in the seventeen participating countries. Several satellite channels (like RTR and TVE Internacional, which are available in almost every country of the world) will air the show as well. Viewers at the other side of the world will get the chance to catch the atmosphere in Hasselt too since Australia�s SBS will also broadcast the show.
Preparations on track
In the mean time, preparations for the 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest are running smoothly. Belgium�s Flemish and French-speaking public broadcasters VRT and RTBF are currently filling in the last pieces of what will be a highly modern and spectacular television show. The EBU from its side has “congratulated VRT and RTBF for the good work already done so far” and has wished them “the best of luck in the final stages of their preparations for 26 November”.