Svante spells it out… Again!

by Richard West-Soley 71 views

In the event of more than 40 countries participating at next year's Eurovision Song Contest, preference will be given to those countries which have participated in the contests of the last five years, Svante Stockselius has reiterated in an interview with

However, Mr Stockselius also stressed that no official decision would be made by the Reference Group until the deadline for registration had passed, leaving the situation still open for discussion. A lively debate has already started around the topic of possible relegations, with the five-year rule being just one of the options, amongst other strategies such as performance-based relegation – a system employed throughout most of the 1990s.

A new draw process?
Svante was also drawn to talk about the draw process, after the elaborate system which was used for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest draw this year, to the surprise of many fans. "The draw for the Eurovision Song Contest won't be like that, at least this year" Svante reassured. But changes are not ruled out; "the Reference Group will make that decision". Urged to talk a little about that Reference Group, Svante explained that of its eight members, three are national producers – currently Finland, Greece and Ukraine – three members are elected by all participating countries, and in addition there is a president of the group, along with the Supervisor of the UER.

Much-improved official site
One big change for 2007 will be the all-new, revamped official website,, which former Chief Editor Sietse Bakker took a lead on this Summer. About the site, Svante confirmed "I'm convinced we'll have a much improved portal, with new content and a modern design". But for now, the official languages on the site and within the EBU will remain as English and French, disappointing Spanish-speaking fans around the world who are waiting for a Castillian version of the official site.

As Svante pointed out, fans will have to wait for the answers to many of their questions, although with the approach of important deadlines, those doubts should not last much longer. New kids on the block such as last year's debutante Armenia, and the hopeful first-timer the Czech Republic, will be waiting anxiously for the very same answers.

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site