Eurovision Song Contest executive supervisor Svante Stockselius comfirmed that Azerbijan will not be able to participate in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki. As reported back in March on esctoday.com, AZTV is not yet an active member of the EBU, and as such, would not have been eligable to participate at the competition next year. The country was said to be interested in taking part in the competition for years, but unless there is a change to the EBU rules for participation, the nation will continue to wait.
Svante Stockselius wrote to the broadcaster, stating: "…to be able to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest, the TV station needs to be an active member of the EBU. As AZTV is yet not an active member, the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 is closed for participation. However, as I know that there are reactions for AZTV to becoming a member next year, the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 might be open for participation…"
At present, rules for entry to the Eurovision Song Contest state that the participating country has to have broadcast the competition the year before and must be an active member of the EBU. As Azerbaijan will not fulfil this criteria by the November 15th 2006 submissions deadline, the only hope that existed for 2007 participation would have been a change to these rules.
At present, Czech Republic, Montenegro and Serbia have all confirmed that they would take part take part for a first time, whilst Austria are returning to the competition after a one year gap. Furthermore, Georgia and Hungary expressedtheir interest in participation. Moldova look set to withdraw from the competition.Unless the situation changes by next week, at least one country may find their plans have to wait. The EBU will make a decision if and when thenumber ofsubmissions for entry to the 2007Eurovision SongContest surpasses 40.