Ukraine will return to the contest after a one-year absence and Bosnia Herzegovina, which last competed in 2012, will also participate. Both countries have 100% qualification records to the Grand Final. Croatia and Bulgaria will return to the contest for the first time since 2013. Bulgaria successfully hosted the 13th Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Sofia last week, Malta won the contest for a second time.
Australia, which finished 5th in the Grand Final in 2015, will return to the contest. However, unlike 2015, they will compete in one of the Semi-Finals in Stockholm. The Eurovision Song Contest is an inclusive event and Australia’s participation again in 2016 is entirely reflective of this. 2016 is also a special year for Iceland as it marks the 30th anniversary of the country's first ever participation.
The following countries will participate in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm:
Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest said, “We are proud to see broadcasters from 43 countries sign up for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. We have put a lot of effort into bringing together as many countries as possible and this number reflects that. To see all these different countries and cultures come together, despite the challenges Europe and the world face today, shows the power of music and the enduring appeal of the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Turkish broadcaster TRT confirmed that the country will not return to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016. The EBU maintains an open dialogue with all Member Broadcasters in the event that those which do not currently participate in the Eurovision Song Contest may do so in the future.
The draw to determine which countries will take part in each of the Semi-Finals will take place in January 2016.