From Scandal to Reform: EBU Publishes New Jury Rules for Eurovision 2014 20

In the wake of the Eurovision 2013 voting scandal, the European Broadcasting Union has tightened rules surrounding the professional juries for the 2014 contest. Although juries will still comprise 50% of the final score for each country, individual jury members will be subject to greater scrutiny and transparency.

“Tighter rules and increased openness are important for the Eurovision Song Contest to build on its success,” Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the contest said to Eurovision.tv,  ”to make sure participants, viewers and fans know that we have done and will always do our utmost to secure a fair result. These changes show that the Eurovision Song Contest is an ever evolving tradition, which continues to adapt to the spirit of time.”

The names of all jury members will be published on May 1 — ahead of each contest. Presumably that move is intended to put pressure on jurors to behave in an ethical way. Being named opens up the opportunity to be shamed, creating a strong deterrent for bad behavior (see allegations here). The EBU is essentially removing the curtains from the jury room to expose any back room deals and to amplify any whispers about vote rigging.

Jury members will not be allowed to participate in the current contest if they have sat on the jury during one of the previous two editions of the contest. That makes it more difficult for any juror to be in the pocket of another delegation. If a nation wants to buy votes, they’ll need to forge new relationships with new jurors. #complicated.

Sand also confirmed that the EBU remains committed to investigate “reports about alleged attempts to unfairly influence the voting.”

“If our investigation brings about evidence of wrongdoing, we will take the required action,” he said.

The EBU will also create a platform on the official Eurovision.tv web site where viewers and jury members can report voting irregularities. We hope the EBU has a full-time secretary devoted to sorting that Inbox….

Do you think the new jury rules at Eurovision 2014 will reduce the likelihood of vote buying and vote rigging? Let us know below!

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Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)