The recent signing of a controversial new media law in Poland, which allows the government to have more control over state media, has led to speculation concerning Poland’s participation in the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision.tv looked into the matter and can confirm that Poland’s participation in the Contest is not in question.
The Eurovision Song Contest, part of the Eurovision Family of Events, is the EBU’s flagship production. However, the EBU is a diverse organisation with 73 Members in 56 countries which does so much more than help produce great entertainment shows each year. Some of the other activities of the EBU include providing a news exchange, setting technical standards, securing sports rights, offering legal advice and operating the largest satellite and fibre optic network in the world.
The EBU has expressed concerns to the Polish government concerning the new media bill in the country. The EBU believes the current legislation could turn Polish radio and TV into media instruments for the government, and not for its citizens.
In order to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, a national broadcaster has to be a Member of the EBU. With the latest developments in Poland, questions have been raised in the media about TVP’s membership of the EBU and consequently, its future in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Dave Goodman, Senior Communications Officer at the EBU provided clarity on the situation. “The EBU’s mission is to strengthen and support public service media and we believe strong, independent public service media is integral to maintaining a thriving democratic society. TVP, and Polskie Radio, remain full EBU Members and their status as well as involvement in EBU activities, such as participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, has not been called into question”.
“We are looking forward to Poland's participation in Stockholm. To the EBU and its Members, the Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event which embodies the best of public service values. It is these that we will celebrate in May with all 43 broadcasters that have been confirmed as participating, including the Polish broadcaster TVP” said Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Poland participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1994, achieving its best ever position, second, with the song To nie ja! performed by Edyta Górniak. 2016 will mark the 19th appearance of Poland at the contest.