It’s the doubly land-locked microstate that’s never competed at Eurovision before. But now it seems that Liechtenstein is still determined to be part of the Eurovision family. A spokesperson from broadcaster 1FLTV has issued a statement saying Liechtenstein will debut at Eurovision 2019.
In the statement published in the Vaterland newspaper, the broadcaster claims that its Eurovision debut will be the highlight of the principality’s 300th anniversary of its formation.
“Eurovision 2019 with Liechtenstein: The absolute 300-year highlight will be the participation of Liechtenstein in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019.
But it’s not just a matter of 1FLTV paying the entry fee and fielding an act. First, they have to join the European Broadcasting Union.
Liechtenstein is not currently a member broadcaster of the EBU, which makes them unable to enter Eurovision. The microstate has tried to join in the past, but lack of government subsidies have made it impossible.
But 1FLTV editor-in-chief Peter Kölbel has always remained optimistic that Liechtenstein will one day debut at Eurovision. Membership negotiations are ongoing, and Vaterland reports Kölbel saying, “We are in the negotiation stage and [the EBU] are in a very friendly atmosphere.”
He said that while the estimated 350,000 Swiss francs (301,000 euro) membership fee might seem high, it was nothing in comparison to the other projects the government has supported for the 300th-anniversary celebrations.
Vaterland‘s coverage of the situation takes a cynical tone. The newspaper notes that 1FLTV management regularly announces their Eurovision dreams, but so far nothing has ever come of it. The writer concludes that Liechtenstein at Eurovision is “another project obviously only on the paper of the press release.”
Liechtenstein and Eurovision
Liechtenstein made their first attempt to participate at Eurovision in 1976. An entry was selected, Biggi Bachmann with her song “My Little Cowboy”. However, as Liechtenstein did not have a national broadcaster, they were unable to enter.
In 2008, national broadcaster 1 Fürstentum Liechtenstein Television was established. Since then, station staff have regularly expressed an interest debuting at Eurovision. The biggest hurdle has always been getting the funding to pay the EBU membership fees.
With a population of around 37,000, Liechtenstein is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Of the current competing countries at Eurovision, only San Marino has a smaller population.
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