Last week the EBU surprised Junior Eurovision fans by confirming that Kazakhstan would make its JESC debut this November in this Minsk. The Kazakh inclusion raised the question: would Kazakhstan also be invited to compete at Eurovision 2019? However, the EBU has now confirmed that it has “no plans” to invite Kazakhstan to participate at Eurovision next year.

Eurovision fan blog ESC Bubble reached out to the EBU and asked whether Kazakhstan would also be allowed to compete at Eurovision 2019. An EBU spokesperson said:

“Only full EBU Members are eligible to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest although the ESC Reference Group may accept, at its discretion, an Associate Member as a “guest” participant in exceptional circumstances as it has previously done with Australia.

“There are no plans to extend this arrangement to other Associate Members.”

The EBU’s statement makes it clear that Kazakhstan’s participation at Junior Eurovision 2018 does not mean automatic participation at Eurovision 2019.

While the ESC Reference Group could potentially invite Khabar Agency to compete in Eurovision 2019, their statement confirms this is not on the cards.

The statement also confirms that Australia still does not have a guaranteed place to compete in Eurovision and must be approved by the ESC Reference Group each year.

The EBU also commented on the decision to invite Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency to participate at Junior Eurovision 2018:

“It is at the discretion of the JESC Reference Group, which represents all participating broadcasters, to invite any EBU Associate that has expressed an interest, to take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for a single year. Khabar Agency, Kazakhstan’s participating broadcaster, is an EBU Associate and will participate in 2018.

“The participation rules have not changed.”

This confirms that Kazakhstan’s JESC participation is for 2018 alone and they are not a permanent new competitor.

The EBU also confirmed that Wales is able to participate in Junior Eurovision 2018 because the contest is not broadcast by any other UK member broadcaster. Welsh broadcaster S4C is effectively taking the UK’s position previously managed by ITV from 2003 to 2005.

It has long been known that Kazakhstan has been keen to get involved with Eurovision. Last year broadcaster Channel 31 claimed that Kazakhstan would be sending a delegation to Lisbon and would be debuting at Eurovision 2019.

However, the EBU issued a clarification, stating that “since Channel 31 is outside the European Broadcasting Area and is also not a member of the Council of Europe, it is not eligible to become an active Member of the EBU.”

Kazakhstan will now make their Eurovision debut at Junior Eurovision 2018. The Central Asian nation has confirmed they will use a national final to select their act for Minsk.

What do you think? Should Kazakhstan get an invitation to compete at Eurovision? Should the EBU mix things up and invite other countries? Share your thoughts below!

Read more Junior Eurovision news here

Comments on this post are now closed.

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Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

I mean Australia is in it, right? And the EBU and the Reference Group went along. For the EBU or the Reference Group to deny the debut of Kazakhstan which is an Eurasian country with associate EBU membership and still allowing Australia to compete, seems hypocritical to say the least. They’re inviting a country on the other side of the world just for the sake of it for four years now. Not that I have anything against Australia, in fact, they have been somewhat of a solid performer in the contest and some of their entries have been memorable. But…… Read more »

Boombox
Guest
Boombox

One thing that common trolls should finally understand and make peace with, is that Australia is NOT a foreign country for the Western Europe. The Anglosphere countries like United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, are considered as an overseas European countries unlike Kazakhstan, China, Russia and the Caucasus countries that have no ethnic, linguistic or cultural relations to the old continent.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

You said it. Western Europe. That’s not all of the European continent or it’s culture. I don’t think Australia has that many cultural relationships with Eastern Europe or even countries like Belgium or Portugal, apart from being democracies and enjoy a high standard of life.

Also, I don’t think there’s any person who considers the U.S or Canada as part of Europe. They’re North American, they might have been a British colony and the main ethnic group is White but that doesn’t make them exactly European.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

If there are no big 5, there will be no contest anymore. You know that right? They afford to pay what smaller countries cant.

Kat
Guest
Kat

As much as I love Australia, I think it’d be much more fun and exciting if every year there was a new and different “guest” country – it just seems a bit silly to let such a distant and far-flung place compete as a “guest” multiple times (though the “guest” status doesn’t really mean much anymore) while barring other, closer countries from participating at all.

PS this doesn’t mean I’m against Australia in Eurovision! It just makes for a silly argument against Kazakhstan (and more)!

Krill
Guest
Krill

As a Russian I can assure you all that if Kazakhstan is going to join the Eurovision, they will give their 12 points to us every single year. xD Even though they deserve to be part of the show, I can understand why EBU don’t want it. :p

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Kazakhs maybe not, but there is a huge Russian minority living in Kazakhstan and that means diaspora votes. In fact, I read somewhere that Kazakhstan is trying to forge it’s own national identity and to reduce their current dependency on Russia.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Sorry, “forge” wasn’t the word. I meant strengthen their national identity, that’s why they are changing from Cyrilic to Latin alphabet for example. Also, when I said Kazakhstan is dependent on Russia, is because Russia is Kazakhstan’s main commercial partner and strategic and militar ally. They both belong to the Eurasian Economic Union and Russians are some of the main investors in the country, also let’s not forget Kazakhstan’s Soviet past. You don’t see that type of closeness between Kazakhstan and Russia being shared among the rest of the “Stans”. I’m sorry if my comment offended you, again that was… Read more »

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

If the EBU are going to invite another non-member country, they’re going to have to make sure it’s a one that can deliver good quality entries. They want another Australia, not a country that makes San Marino look like Sweden in comparison.

Though given Australia’s form in the past two years, I wonder if the EBU are starting to regret their VIP treatment for SBS?

Laura
Guest
Laura

Yes. Kazakhstan has brilliant singers and would like to participate at Eurovision. Actually it is possible, so why not to give them a chance. I believe, that audience will be surprised. You will have new viewers and some new impressions.

Nikko
Guest
Nikko

Kazakhstan is in many terms like Turkey:
– small part of their area is in Europe, the rest in Asia (5.4% of Kazakhstan, 3% of Turkey)
– politically they are more oriented to Europe, than to Asia (Kazakhstan has good relations with Russia, Turkey is a NATO member)
– they participate in European organizations (Kazakhstan is a member of UEFA, OSCE, Commonwealth of indepedented states,…)
– they both speak a Turkic language (plus Kazakhstan has Russian as an official language)

And while it is totally acceptable that Turkey participates in this contest, Kazakhstan is seen as it does not belong there?

Lin
Guest
Lin

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS COMMENT!!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Armenia, Israel and Australia don’t have any land in Europe, but they participate. I think that Kazakhstan should be allowed to join, too. After all 9% of the country is located in Europe, they deserve to be part of the show just like other transcontinental countries like Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

James
Guest
James

Armenia, and Israel both full members of the EBU so it makes it very easier for them to take part in Eurovision. Australia, as mentioned in the article, takea part thanks to having been invited for the past four years.

MA
Guest
MA

Sure invite them but nobody on this site should be allowed to complain when Kazakhstan gives 24 points to Russia…

Laura
Guest
Laura

I don’t think that KZ will give votes for Russia. I believe, votes will be given for the best performance of the contest.

Simon
Guest
Simon

Kazakhstan is just as European as Turkey. Why such a big deal? ESC fans love multiculturalism, don’t they?

Dette
Guest
Dette

We do 😀
And that’s why they need inviting

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

I’m honestly wondering why everyone starts Voting down my comments… Nobody seemed to have any Problems with it at all and I don’t see how the other comments in this section are any different in Terms of Content. But why should I care, the Internet makes no sense.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

You are right! Objectively, your comments are just the same as others in content. I also don’t understand the downvoting. But well, haters do not think logically and that is the big problem in this society.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Oh come on! I still have a gut feeling that we will see Kazakhstan join, but this makes me less hopefull 🙁

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

That’s honestly so stupid… There is even a small part of Kazakhstan that actually is in Europe! And ,don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad that Australia is taking part. I really couldn’t care less, but how does it make any sense that Australia can and Kazakhstan can’t join Eurovision? Ridiculous. But I guess Kazakhstan wouldn’t be as big as a money source as Australia is, so why am I even surprised at this point….

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

SAME, it’s not logical at all.

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
Guest
Boycott Jerusalem 2019

Pretty sure the contest is stuck with Australia forever because I don’t think anyone would want to appear heartless and stop inviting them.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Well this is unfair. I mean they should be able to participate since they are also in European football league and any other European sports competition. They have a part of their land in Europe, they’ve been connected with Europe politicly for a long time, one of their official languages is Russian aka. European language. They’ve been watching ESC for quite some time(10 years I believe?). They ACTUALLY could be in Council of Europe, but they have death-sentence, which I personally don’t think it’s such a bad law not to participate in ESC. and most importantly they would bring more… Read more »

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

But as stated in the article it’s not up to EBU to decide, but up to ESC reference group, so this article says nothing, I mean it’s not EBU who invited Australia so…

Fara
Guest
Fara

we do not have the death penalty

Good luck
Guest
Good luck

Kazakhstan should be in ESC in Israel.

olvresc
Guest
olvresc

I will never get over the fact that Australia is allowed to participate. However, I would actually be fine with Kazakhstan.

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

If azerbaijan can why can’t kazakhstan :S logistics question- who would be watching esc live in kazakhstan? In azerbaijan it starts at midnight and here in australia at 5am in the east so the show would be going on in the dead zone (12am-5am)

LiGhts
Guest
LiGhts

In Azerbaijan it starts at 11 o’clock (p.m).
What does Azerbaijan have to do with this…

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

can u read in azerbaijan it starts when people are asleep
in kaz is starts even further in the night

LiGhts
Guest
LiGhts

Our tv shows usually start at 11 o’clock. So people aren’t asleep at that time.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Really? Why do shows in Azerbaijan start so late? At least here in South America, it isn’t that common. Primetime is mostly between 8pm and midnight.

LiGhts
Guest
LiGhts

Actually, we don’t sleep early (as a nation), people work and they rest at nights. News programmes start at 21:00 and it lasts one hour then the other tv shows we watch and etc. Futhermore, we watch Turkish shows too. So common thing is that. Of course you may find people who sleep early. But yes. Marjority.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

EscAU meant this:
AZ – midnight
KHZ
AUS – 5 am
Geographally, KHZ is between AZ and AUS, so the time in KHZ is also between the time in AZ and AUS. This means, it would be in the night, so people cant watch it live maybe… 🙁

MyVision
Guest
MyVision

But Australia is in the broadcasting area and council of Europe right? Just double standards by the EBU and everyone who says elsewise are deluding themselves. They close the door to a country that is party within the European continent and belongs to the Eastern Slavic/Ex-USSR cultural, political and social group because it’s an imperior culture according to the EBU where’s a country on the other side of the planet that isn’t eligible to take part by the very same rules they quote here because it’s English speaking and Anglo-Saxic /Western European culture and therefor “superior” according to the cultural… Read more »

Dette
Guest
Dette

Couldn’t have said it better myself

Orange
Guest
Orange

Ugh… well I guess we all got a bit too carried away but COME ON… I was looking forward to what they would bring to the show.