Yesterday John Kennedy O’Conner, a journalist with strong links to the San Marinese Eurovision delegation, tweeted that Morocco, Kazakhstan, Kosovo and Tunisia will each send delegations to Eurovision 2015 in Vienna. This does not mean they are sending a singer to compete. It merely means that officials from these nations will be on-the-ground to observe Eurovision in action. As you’ll recall, Australia sent a delegation to Eurovision last year — not merely because Jessica Mauboy was performing, but also because officials from SBS wanted to observe the ins and outs of the contest. Surely that helped pave the way for their participation this year. Naturally this raises one question: Are Morocco, Kazakhstan, Kosovo and Tunisia planning to compete at Eurovision 2016?

The Tweet

Tunisia

Tunisia showed interest in 1977. Several preparations for a national final were made, but for unknown reasons Tunisia decided to withdraw in the months before the contest. Although never confirmed, rumours swirled that the government was not allowed to broadcast Israel’s performance because of existing legislation. The chances that Tunisia will return have been seen as small and the Tunisian government hasn’t made any attempt to return (although still an active member of the EBU). Could things be changing?

Our pick for 2016 or beyond: Tunisia doesn’t have a huge music industry, but they do have some fantastic artists including Latifa. She drops Arab-influenced-pop that makes us move! Her name may mean “gentle” in Arabic, but her music can be so riotous and fun.

Kazakhstan

Kazakh state television has been broadcasting Eurovision since 2010, so the enthusiasm is there. There was a strong rumour going around in 2013 that Kazakhstan would be present in 2014, and we all know how that turned out. Should we get our hopes up again for 2016? Absolutely.

Our pick for 2016 or beyond: We would love to see A-Studio at Eurovision. Their music is very current and well-produced, as shown in their 2014 hit “Falling For You” (which was also sung by Eurovision 2010 artist Tomas N’evergreen).

Kosovo

The legal position on Kosovo’s statehood remains unclear, which complicates its potential entry to the contest. One of the requirements to become an EBU member is UN membership, which the country doesn’t have. That said, the EBU did make an exception once: Kosovo participated in the 2011 Eurovision Young Dancers contest.

The Kosovarian broadcaster RTK and EBU signed an agreement in 2013, which gave Kosovo the status of observer. Kosovo doesn’t lack possible entries, seeing that there are videos which carry titles like ‘Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Kosovo‘ on Youtube. The Eurovision fanbase in Kosovo is significant and the call for membership from fans could motivate RKT to keep working on its membership.

Our pick for 2016 or beyond: Rona Nishliu gave Albania its best-ever result back in 2012 with “Suus“. And guess what: She is an Albanian Kosovar!

Morocco

Morocco made its unlikely debut in 1980 with Samira Said (pictured at top). It marked the first time we heard Arabic sung at the Eurovision Song Contest. With the host broadcaster stating that it would never return after its 18th place in the final, it appears that unless the alternative broadcaster 2MTV gets EBU membership and goes for Eurovision, we won’t be seeing Morocco for a while. Has that now happened? Or has the state broadcaster had a change of heart?

An active requirement of being able to be a member is to broadcast the competition in full, a rule which caused Lebanon to withdraw back in 2005. Due to ongoing political tensions with Israel, it refused to broadcast their performance. These rules may be difficult for Morocco and Tunisia to uphold, considering the two nations do not recognize the state of Israel.

Our pick for 2016 or beyond: Morocco has its fair share of Arab-influenced music, and a lot of it is mixed with pop. Goddess Samira Said (Morocco’s only representative thus far) would be even more fabulous on her return. Just just check out her song Elly Benna:

https://youtu.be/QHeNf6B00do

Do you think these four nations are working their way back to Eurovision? Which nations would you like to compete in Eurovision 2016? Comment below! You can also check out our full primer on potential countries that could return or debut at Eurovision here.

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Beimbet
Guest
Beimbet

I am from Kazakhstan and i love ESC but i do not want my country to take part at ESC:)

Carlos
Guest
Carlos

Kazakhstan YES!
Morocco and Tunisia, mmmmmmmm, well, i don´t know
But Kosovo already involved since 1961…

honestly
Guest
honestly

Kosovo is not a country, so no. Other three are ok, I think.

King
Guest
King

NO NO NO NO! I hate this idea…..

If you want to see these countries then just turn this contest into Worldvision -.- I guess soon we will see Islamic state in Eurovision too….wtf

Melissa J
Guest

As Kazakhstan won Turkvizyon 2014 with a fantasic entry, I think it would be awesome to see them step up on the Eurovision stage! They’d compliment the Caucus countries as well. I would love to see all these countries in Eurovision! If countries have a genuine interest an contribute great music, I see no reason why it would be a bad thing. To open our doors and welcome more cultures sounds heavenly! Especially some more Arabic tinged pop.

Britz26
Guest

Kazakhstan! <3 Tunisia! <3 Morocco! <3 Kosovo! <3 It would be veeeeeeeeeeeeery nice to see this countries! 😀

Felix Prochain
Guest
Felix Prochain

Possible votes from Kazakhstan))
12 points – Russia
10-Ukraine
8-Turkey
7-Azerbaijan
6-Belarus
etc.
However, it would be nice to have them.. I’d also love to see Lebanon (francophone country btw.) at the Eurovision. Sad that they have bad relationship with Israel.
Not sure about Morocco and Tunisia but again, if Turkey and Azerbaijan could do it why not them))

kujtim lika
Guest

me pelqen me shume se teper elhaida dani dhe kenga e kenduar per ne eurovision

Per
Guest

Its to many now. no more contrys.

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

@giorgos
Yes, everyone is welcome. I would love to have more songs to listen to. Forty is not enough.
It is so sad to read the xenophobic views here. After this year’s “Building bridges”, should next year’s Eurovision be “Building walls”?

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Believe it or not, QR in Qatar not only applied in 2009 for membership but also sent a delegate but the application was denied as the Gulf State was outside of the European Broadcasting Area.

Sebastian
Guest
Sebastian

If Albania wins this year I could see Kosovo entering, I also would love to see the other countries entering! As long as America doesn’t enter Ill accept anyone

Vicente Chen
Guest
Vicente Chen

Being the third person (not a European), all the four countries – Morocco, Kazakhstan, Kosovo and Tunisia are welcomed in my opinion. Since Israel, the Caucasus, and even Australia has joined the competition, I don’t think the regional location matters anymore. Besides, these countries have so many good and special music elements that may not be easy or common to find out in Europe, so back to the question, why not? I actually really hope Tunisia will send their singer(s) to attend ESC!!! 😀 The only country that may be embarrassed in this situation is Kosovo(In my country our government… Read more »

fikri
Guest
fikri

if anyone gonna enter eurovision among the arab countries i imagine its gonna be tunisia and morocco. they aren’t as conservative as their other neighbours.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Pretty sure a Kazakh debut will only strengthen the Belarus-Russia-Azerbaijan voting bloc even more. I dont know how I feel about this. They will probably also qualify every year and win within within the first few years too. Although I wouldnt have a problem with them joining if their song’s were decent.
Morocco, Tunisia and Kosovo should be the next countries to join (return) I think.

Lw'esc
Guest
Lw'esc

Kosovo is entitled to participate in Eurovision. 🙂

Per
Guest

Mario…: Australien , Norge, Tyskland mm. Skulle inte heller ha en chans, så intetsägande låtar. Årets sämsta låt från Slovenien skulle klara sig bra, eftersom halva startfältet är länder från forna Jugoslavien. Och alla andra östeuropeiska länder och länder som hör till Asien och Arabländer skulle rösta på varandra, tar dom över totalt, och ESC skulle utrota sig själv

Ranting Ruby
Guest
Ranting Ruby

If even more countries compete, isn’t it time we started limiting the numbers who can qualify for the final? 27 is too many already – it really shouldn’t be more than 20, I reckon, otherwise the show is just too long. How about regional qualifications? Once we get above 50 competing nations, the semis could take weeks … it’ll be like the World Cup …

Donna
Guest
Donna

Well, if the EBU allowed Kosovo to send a delegation, it could mean that they’ve considered even if not the entire world sees it as a country yet. Of course the situation would be different if those separatist “republics” in Ukraine also wanted their own delegation into the Eurovision because as far as we know (and as far as UN is concerned), those “republics” are not really legal while Kosovo became a country through formal and legal procedures and not through mere armed invasion or through someone (or a group of people) merely declaring it as a separate country. I’d… Read more »

AM.Casablancas
Guest
AM.Casablancas

I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but Kosovo isn’t officially a country yet. Up until the approval from the EBU as an European independent nation it’s impossible.
We already know Turkey wants to return so thats a sure entry, I don’t think any of the other 3 countries will make it, so I would bet on it.

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

@Robyn, I think they do broadcast them but they dub commentary over the segment to distract viewers. But that said, this could be a possible solution for the Arab countries to participate. The more the merrier in my book!

As for Kosovo, I think it will upset too many countries if EBU lets them participate because there is a good amount that do not recognize it as such.

I agree with whoever mentioned Jordan, they’d be more than capable. Even Egypt to an extent (excluding the recent troubles), Egypt regularly participates in Miss Universe so why not Eurovision??? lol

Franco
Guest
Franco

That’s great! I’d love to have them in the competition.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

aligator – “If I’m not mistaken, Azerbaijan doesn’t broadcast Armenian acts and Armenia doesn’t broadcast Azeri broadcasts. So why can’t the Arab countries do the same with Israel?”

As part of the agreement that each broadcaster has with the EBU, the show has to be screened in its entirety, unedited. In 2012, even though Armenia had withdrawn from participating in the Azerbaijan-hosted competition, the show was still broadcast there. Likewise, viewers from those countries must be free to vote for acts from any other country, regardless of political feelings.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

It would be fascinating and great to see Morocco and Tunisia in the contest, given they are EBU members in good standing. Likewise for Lebanon. However, I’d really like to see UKRAINE, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria,Slovakia and Turkey back! (I’ve read that Turkey intends to make a return in 2016). As for Kazakhstan and Kosovo, those would be interesting additions, given their enthusiasm, but the legal/regulatory issues with the EBU must be worked out. It will be very fascinating to see who debuts or returns in 2016!! 🙂

Mar
Guest
Mar

There is no way countries like Lebanon, Morocco or Tunisia will ever compete in Eurovision as long as Israel does. It’s not that they just don’t feel like broadcasting the israeli act, they are prohibited by their Constitutions to recognize there is a state called Israel. As far as I know Kazakhstan is not within the EBA, so the most they could hope for is guest status, like Australia this year. The most likely adition from this group is probably Kosovo, although Serbia and maybe a few others would withdraw as a result. I don’t really think it’s a wise… Read more »

aligator
Guest
aligator

If I’m not mistaken, Azerbaijan doesn’t broadcast Armenian acts and Armenia doesn’t broadcast Azeri broadcasts. So why can’t the Arab countries do the same with Israel? Also, more conservative nations in the East cut out the Gay parts of Eurovision; Turkey edited out the kiss in 2013 in Finland’s act. Australia is almost all around the world and is allowed in, so why not African states. Although Israel is culturally European it’s technically still in Asia. As well as most of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia. The only issue i see here really is the creation of more voting blocks. Arab… Read more »

day one
Guest
day one

I think Australia competing this year is just a test.
The EBU said if it goes well they will look at bringing in other countries.
However all I think the EBU is doing is seeing if a non EBU member (Australia) TV station can fully broadcast Eurovision so that other non EBU members can compete.
The EBU is thinking about letting non EBU members compete at JESC so why not ESC we could even see old Eurovision countries competing with a private broadcaster.

BTW how come Wiwibloggs hasn’t mentioned Ireland competing in the JESC?

arbenit
Guest
arbenit

I really want Kosovo please please Eurovision please let Kosovo in make the Eurovision even stronger because most of kosovo people watch are interested in it , just think if and we are in we totally would be even more interesting and hopeful .Love you Best Show ever <3 <3

Hannes
Guest

@PP lol wut

PP
Guest
PP

Kazahkstan and Kosovo is not full members of EBU.
I don t want to see Kazahstan on Eurovision, 11 countries from Soviet Union who wili every year gave 12 points to Russia.
If Israel witherdraw maybe we see in future Tunisia and Morocco.
But I think that we wili see first Kazahkstan, rich countries , EBU love countries with lots of many like Azerbaijna, Australia….

Nitzan
Guest
Nitzan

To me, Arab countries not participating in ESC merely for having to broadcast an Israeli song always came across as dark and hateful, and unfortunately i don’t see any of them joining as long as Israel is in. It’s too bad, for ESC would have been a great chance to try and get closer. In 2005 Lebanon could have an amazing debut, to which I have no doubt in my mind Israel would have given a full 12 points. But as Lebanon realized they cannot avoid broadcasting the Israeli song, they withdrew. I hope one day we will all share… Read more »

Hollandique
Guest

Hope that Bulgaria, Andorra and Lebanon would show interest

Lw'esc
Guest
Lw'esc

Kosovo ?

Daniel_2015
Guest
Daniel_2015

The more the merrier. But I would looooove to have Turkey back. And Ukraine as well.

D
Guest
D

Kosovo has deserved to participate since their independence in 2008. Serbia seriously needs to let it go already. I’d support Kazakhstan in the contest as well. Tunisia and Morocco I’m on the fence with. They aren’t European at all, but at least they lie within the European broadcasting area.

CandyCam
Guest
CandyCam

I guess because it is the 60th ESC, EBU has invited those delegations to take part in May but I dont think that means that all of the above countries will join anytime soon. Nevertheless, the more the merrier

William Kosovo
Guest
William Kosovo

I would be amazed if Kosovo would compete in Eurovision 2016. Its all about music, and according to Agreement of Brussels 2013 between Kosovo and Serbia , there will be a possibility . #KosovoESC.

gagah!
Guest
gagah!

All states are welcome,exept Kosovo.Kosovo is not member of EBU and UN and they are serbian province ocupated by USA and Albanians…

lucas
Guest
lucas

Kazakhstan’s song is very cool!

tunisieesc
Guest
tunisieesc

Tunisia won the intervision in 2013 with this song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDIZ2I_XWT8
We also have a great rock metal called myrath
I am pretty sure that if tunisia take part we will get points from turkey , Italy ,Malta and France

Allen
Guest
Allen

Yea, bring them, who cares for borders and politics, it’s a song contest.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Active EBU members are basically those paying EBU members meeting all technical criteria for full membership, whose states are either within the European Broadcasting Area or members of the Council of Europe which is situated outside the European Broadcasting Area. Tunisia :- RTTT has been an Active Member since 1950 but not competed as yet. Morocco :- SNRT has been an Active Member since 1969 and Morocco competed in 1980. The 2nd commercial channel 2M TV applied in 2011 but membership not granted as yet. Kosovo :- RTK applied in 2008 but have not fulfilled the criteria for admission yet.… Read more »

Eric
Guest
Eric

I’d rather see a deal so the micro-states can afford to participate. Special pricing rate, or combined entry/voting with rotating representation…. Although I’m not sure that Luxembourg would qualify. I still get a kick out of Andorra’s last song.

Blair
Guest
Blair

Agree with Calvin. And for that matter, why not Egypt…?

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I agree with the comment about A-Studio. They had another huge hit with Papa Mama, which I heard constantly when I was in Moscow in 2013

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Would like to see Kosovo and maybe Kazakhstan.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Not gonna happen.

Morocco, and Tunisia do not recognize Israel. Maybe Morocco is interested in broadcasting the show? Tunisia is way too conservative to show gay acts and revealing performances.

Kazakhstan want desperately to take part but i hope they won’t take part.

Kosovo is not a country and many EU countries have not recognized it as independent. I bet there would be a lot of problems coming from Serbia.

I;d rather see Luxembourg, Andorra and Slovakia back.

Mario..
Guest
Mario..

@ Exactly Pipas buddy… The Australian song would not even be qualifier 4 the final or a top10 result with weak mediocre boring song it is.. But to consider such song like that even hot favorite 4 the victory in Vienna according to lame bookies that also had the overrated song of Armenia last year as winning material { like WTF..!} & the finnish [email protected] this year as also potential winner is really beyond me & causes annoyance to me.. I really expected Australia to do great & finish on rather high place just because of sympathy fake poits due… Read more »

jr esc nl
Guest
jr esc nl

Pipas pal pájaro, these countries are another story than australia it has to do with the european broadcasting area

Deniz@TurkNL
Guest

Happiness! Yes, this is cooool!