All European voices matter!

Statement of the European Free Alliance regarding EBU’s Ban on on our Participation in the Eurovision Debate

EBU will not allow EFA to participate in the Eurovision Debate next week. Although EFA is one of the 10 officially recognized European Political Parties and is engaging in a pan-European campaign for the European elections, led by two Spitzenkandidaten, the European Broadcasting Union has closed the door for us to participate in one of the most important debates of the European elections. 

We want to express our deepest disappointment and unconformity with this decision. European democracy deserves more. By shutting the door on our participation, the EBU is not only silencing the voices of smaller parties but also undermining the principles of democracy and inclusivity. 

Last 29th of April EFA was present in the Maastricht Debate. We had the opportunity to bring the voice of those who are not normally listened to. It was a necessary exercise for European democracy and for everyone to feel included in European politics. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to do it again in the Eurovision debate.

Months of silence

EBU’s decision came to us by surprise, since we were previously convened for the debate preparatory meetings. On 18 January 2024, EFA was informed by Mr. Jaume Duch, Director-General for Communication and Spokesperson of the European Parliament of the will of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to organise a TV debate with the Lead Candidates for the European Commission Presidency, as it happened in 2019. 

Mr. Duch asked the European Free Alliance to nominate one responsible, contact person for the discussions with EBU. A first kick-off meeting with all EUPPs representatives to start the discussions was mentioned.

In April, EFA asked for further information about the state of play of the debate. Since January, we had not received any communication from the EBU. On 30 April 2024, less than a month before the date of the debate, EFA received a response from the European Parliament communication services where it was communicated that the EBU had established some “rules” for the debate: only one Lead Candidate per Political Group could be nominated. 

Arbitrary criteria

The lack of communication and transparency from the EBU regarding the selection process for the debate is deeply concerning. Despite our repeated inquiries, we were met with silence until just weeks before the scheduled event, leaving us with no opportunity to address any concerns or objections.

The decision by the EBU to impose arbitrary rules and limitations on the nomination of Lead Candidates is not only undemocratic but also constitutes a clear interference in the European Elections. It is unacceptable that candidates nominated by recognized European Political Parties are being vetoed based on arbitrary criteria set by external entities.

We call on the EBU to reconsider its decision and uphold the principles of democracy, transparency, and inclusivity. Europe deserves better than to be deprived of the opportunity to hear from all political perspectives, and EFA remains committed to fighting for the rights and representation of all European citizens. We urge the EBU to rectify this situation and ensure that the Eurovision Debate remains a platform for open and meaningful dialogue.