The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group is the executive Expert Committee for all Members, its purpose being to control and guide the Eurovision Song Contest.
Today, the Heads of Delegations who are gathering in Düsseldorf were asked to elect four new members of the committee. Julian Vignoles from the Irish broadcaster RTE is leaving the Reference Group after 6 years, while Christer Björkman from Swedish SVT and Federico Llano from Spanish TVE were up for elections again.
The heads of delegation could decide between the following candidates:
- Anton Attard (PBS, Malta)
- Maia Baratashvili (GPB, Georgia)
- Bruno Berbérès (France 3, France)
- Christer Björkman (SVT, Sweden)
- Dejan Kukric (BHRT, Bosnia & Herzegovina)
- Federico Llano (TVE, Spain)
- Maarten Verhaeghen (VRT, Belgium).
The candidates getting the most votes in today's elections were Christer Björkman, Dejan Kukric and Maarten Verhaeghen who will now join the Reference Group for 2 years and Bruno Berbérès will join the group for one year, taking the guaranteed place of the Executive Producer of the previous year's edition.
Why so? Well, the Executive Producer of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest was Jon Ola Sand but he has a new task starting from this year - the Executive Supervisor from the side of the European Broadcasting Union!
The Reference Group was established by the European Broadcasting Union's Television Committee in 1998 and its main tasks are approving the development and future format of the Eurovision Song Contest, securing the financing, modernising the brand and raising awareness and overseeing the yearly preparation by the Host Broadcaster.