It’s the only country that has participated at Junior Eurovision that has never participated at Eurovision. However, that could change very soon for Kazakhstan. Broadcaster Khabar Agency reveals there is “every chance” for them to take part at Eurovision 2023.
As TV producer Zhan Mukanov suggested recently at a press conference in Astana, they are in talks with the EBU about their participation in next year’s contest. Khabar Agency actually believes they can finally debut in 2023. Mukanov says:
“I personally really love Eurovision. […] Since Khabar Agency is an officially associated member of the European Broadcasting Union, there is every chance to enter the adult Eurovision next year. I really hope, we hope that everything works out.”
He later added an interesting fact: “This year’s participation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will have a significant impact on our debut possibilities in Eurovision. We will try our best.”
But don’t count your chickens before they hatch! It’s not the first time there have been rumors about a Kazakh debut at Eurovision. Because the country’s territory partly lies in Europe, fans have been hoping to see them at the contest for years. After they first participated at Junior Eurovision in 2018, their debut at the adult version seemed even more realistic.
There’s one big problem: Kazakhstan is only an “associate member” of the EBU. That means they can only join Eurovision if they get invited to the competition. So far there’s only one country that has received this kind of invitation: Australia. The land that gave us the voice of Dami Im, took us to new heights with Kate Miller Heidke and put a smile on our faces with Guy Sebastian is also only an associate member. That’s due to the fact that neither Kazakhstan nor Australia meet the requirements of becoming a full member of the EBU.
You need to be part of the Council of Europe for that OR your territory must belong – at least partly – to the European Broadcasting Area, defined by the International Telecommunication Union. Those requirements do not apply to Kazakhstan, which is why they are — alongside Canada, Brazil, the US, Australia and many others — only an associate member.
Rumours suggest that while Khabar Agency has tried to become a full EBU member for many years now, it’s now more likely for them to take part at Eurovision as an associate member and get invited to the competition next May. That’s the same way they’ve managed to participate in Junior Eurovision since 2018. But there’s one big difference between those two events: at Junior Eurovision, viewers can only vote online.
Minister of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry, Bagdat Mussin: “Kazakhstan gets its own telephone code (+997) by the end of 2022.”#12PointsToKazakhstan #Eurovision2023 #KazakhstanToEurovision #KazakhstanToESC pic.twitter.com/ErP9LCwXqz— Kazakhstan to ESC (@kazakhstantoesc) October 4, 2022
As we all know, at Eurovision votes are counted by televote. But Kazakhstan shares its phone dialing code with Russia. This is probably the reason it would have been hard to determine its televote result in the past. But according to several reports, the country will get its own international dialing code by January 2023 at the latest. Twitter Account Kazakhstan to ESC already pointed this out a few days ago.
Combined with the fact that former EBU members Belarus and Russia got suspended by the EBU, meaning fewer countries are in the mix now, the new dialing code could be beneficial for a Kazakh debut. In the past, the EBU denied plans to invite Kazakhstan to Eurovision. Only time will tell if this really changes in 2023.
At the press conference in Astana, Khabar Agency also revealed that David Charlin will represent the nation at this year’s Junior Eurovision. The song will be revealed at a later date. It has, however, been confirmed that Khamit Shangaliyev will be one of the composers. Shangaliyev already composed Kazakhstan’s Junior Eurovision entries in 2019 and 2020.
What do you think about a possible debut at next year’s Eurovision? Which act would you like to see representing Kazakhstan? Let us know in the comments below.
Doesn’t San Marino only have a jury and no televoting? They could do the same for Kazakhstan and the fans that want to vote can be included through the new “rest of the world” vote that will be added this year
No thanks, we don’t need another ex USSR country, we already know their points even without the songs..
I hope so! As they say in Kazakhstan, inshalla
Can we get Morocco back, please?
With Russia, Belarus, Turkey and other eastern countries out, I think that EBU has absolutely no reason to not invite Kazakhstan… It is the PERFECT time.. Absolutely.. And EBU now with lack of east countries has no reason to worry for neighboring voting!! Welcome to the Eurovision family Kazakhstan!!
I’m torn, Kazakhstan is an authoritarian regime and having them taking part of ESC has the risk of whitewashing their regime. Also, I feel like they’re capable of going the Azerbuyjan route.
On the other hand, having a new or a returning country is always exciting and Kazakhstan has a pack of great artists – such as Dimash Kudaibergen, which could add memorable and unique moments to the contest overall.
Eurovision is a song contest and we should not mind that much which is the political situation of each country.. accepting in the contest only countries that are in favor of western values and lgbt is racist… and Kazakhstan is an ok country I mean at least is better than Russia or Belarus which are already out..
Your insight relieves me 🙂
A debut is possible, ebu is running out of eastern countries
Kazakhstan has a tiny part of their land in Europe, so they deserve to participate more than Israel or Australia. (whom are also welcome, don’t get me wrong).
It’s unacceptable not to let a country with European land take part.
Hopefully Kazakhstan will compete in 2023 so that they get a lot of novelty/welcoming points that will hopefully offset, at least partially, the rain of pity votes that Ukraine will get.
Kazakhstan has politically softened and moved away from Russia recently and every single one of their JESC entries have been top notch. They’ve definitely earned a trial at ESC. They may vote for Azerbaijan, Turkey and Ukraine (maybe also Russia if they decide to give up the genocidal side-gig) religiously but I feel like their entries would be worth it.
Hope to see Kazakhstan participating soon if not this edition of ESC. I need to see Dimash Kudaibergen or Daneliya Tuleshova on the ESC stage soon!
This is such a clear indication of Kazakhstan experiencing a major political shift towards the West. Good for them. Always nice to see new countries in ESC.
I am sorry but i don’t want this please EBU
It’s interesting that Kazakhstan wants to participate after their closest European allies were banned (Russia) or left a decade ago (Turkey).
They clearly see a benefit in participating at Eurovision. Maybe it’s to show the west they’re moving away from the Russian sphere of influence or to show Europe that they want closer ties. From a geopolitical standpoint, it’s super interesting.
Also, could Kazakh participation eventually lead to other Central Asian countries showing an interest in competing? It wouldn’t surprise me, especially since they’re also trying to distance themselves from Russia after the invasion.
In the meantime, the EBU should focus on convincing past competing countries to participate like Slovakia, Hungary, Bosnia, Luxembourg, Turkey, Lebanon and Morocco.
As long as Israel is participating, Lebanon will not join
Issue with Slovakia and Bosnia is funding
Hungary and Turkey will not join because of homophobia
Erdogan and his government changed Turkey’s name, Turkish people literally don’t care.
If Erdogan wasn’t in power, Turkey would still be called Turkey and they’d also still participate in Eurovision.
I thought that has been their name since 1923? It’s just the use of the name in English that’s he’s trying to change. Like Giorgia Meloni deciding it’s “Italia” now, not Italy.
The name Turkey has been known by the international community since 1923, but since 2022 it’s now known as Türkiye.
There seems to be a correlation between dictators and far-right governments asking the international community to recognise their countries name by the language of the country.
I find some of the arguments below borderline racist. It is easy to stay on a high horse and judge an entire country, but for me, it completely contradicts the founding principles of ESC. Also, we should be careful when we measure our goodness with whom we exclude- especially when there are neo-fascist elements creeping up in all western democracies, even to the level of government: Italy and Sweden case in point, not to mention Poland and Hungary (and Israel). Would you agree to “withdraw” your country from Eurovision if one day, just like in happened in the past, your… Read more »
I wasn’t talking about “banning” them, just not “inviting” them. Pedantic maybe, but I don’t see them as the same thing. They’re not members, and they didn’t show this year’s contest. They don’t deserve an invitation, which could mean another actual member losing a spot in the final.
Well said, Nick!!!
I won’t mind it as long as there is no Russian or Russians involved. Not because of the war but because of the block voting. The least I’d want is another ex-soviet country giving Russia their 8,10 or 12 points.
Also, Australia managed to participate even if there aren’t many viewers during the live broadcast, but how is Kazakhstan going to handle it with lesser population and a slightly different culture?
Who could give Russia points if they’re banned?
I really hope so, their Junior eurovision entry’s are very beautiful ! I keep my fingers crossed!!
I am just expecting Kazakhstan would send an actual KAZAKH and not some Russian to represent them.
They have excellent artists, so let’s hope they get the chance to represent Kazakhstan if the country’s finally invited!
with the shrinking amount of participating countries, it’d be nice to have a new participant.
OMG… that would be so exciting!!! Besides the fact that Eurovision 2023 will be in the UK. There is no doubt Kazakhstan will bring an awesome entry, they’re so eager and enthusiastic to take part in ESC!
Just invite them ?
Kazakh is such a great language, sounds like turkish and has some great rhythm. Fingers crossed
If this gets confirmed, I am starting a petition. EBU is going in the wrong direction. Eurovision may not be about politics, but in these dictatorships, Eurovision is politicized at the highest political level -case in point, Azerbaijan.
I really hope they do join next year. Given their good track record at JESC they deserve it, and hopefully the dialling code will resolve the issue. With other countries having left, we could do with some newbies. OK, there is the human rights issue, but Eurovision is a song contest, not the UN Human Rights Council. Politics should be left at the door, as much as possible anyway. (And no, I’m not saying Russia should have participated. Starting an unprovoked invasion, killing thousands of civilians, and denying the existence of a whole country and culture is a step too… Read more »
Yes! Can’t wait for Kazakhstan to slay the contest.
I’ve long thought the informal deal was if they win Junior Eurovision they will be invited as guests to adult Eurovision, this statement about their Jesc success impacting their chances of ESC participation seems to confirm it.
Would be weird when they have the interview with JESC winner at the main contest when he or she says they from a country not even participating
– Eurovision 2012 in Baku?
– Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014?
– FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar; this December?
Corrupted countries put a lot of effort to make their reputation better, but are we willing to close our eyes because of money?
will probably just be Russian artists representing Kazakhstan…
Kazakhstan isn’t too fond of Russians anymore
They didn’t even broadcast Eurovision this year, also why’d we want to welcome a country run by a dictator? We already have enough corruption because of Azerbaijan.
Also, they didn’t even show this year’s Eurovision from Torino. They said nobody interested. Nothing to do with Ukraine winning.
In that case, it’s a done deal, right? By current rules, not showing the previous edition means not having a debut. So, perhaps another year…
I hope so, but rules are only rules until they’re not. Like when they threw away the membership thing for Australia.
Isn’t Kazakhstan under a dictatorship? Personally I’d prefer if countries that are under a dictatorship don’t partake in ESC. Just my opinion. I’m sure most would disagree.
Define ”dictatorship” in legal terms. Yugoslavia was, until 1980 at least, a dictatorship under Tito. As in, he was the leader for life, without elections held. Still, there was no expansionism ideas, and the people could progresively get more and more outside exposure and could travel freely. Russia wasn’t, until 2022, technically a true dictatorship on paper. Sure, Putin was already a ”de facto” dictator, but formally, he was elected multiple times, shifting his position from ”prime minister” to ”president” back and forth. To be able to ban dictatorships, EBU would have to formally define what a dictatorship is, or… Read more »
+1 : )
There’s this thing called a democracy index (then – DI). It evaluates countries on many different civil liberties and rights, then countries are divided into four groups: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes. So, the EBU, if in desire, could simply follow the DI and allow to take part in Eurovision only those countries which are full or flawed democracies. Based on the DI there are 21 full democracies and 53 flawed democracies in the world only, much less so in Europe. Then again, we would face a dilemma such as, in DI 2022 Ukraine fell in… Read more »
Thank you for the info!
No, i mean the current president got criticized over his approach towards covid pandemic, but he’s most certainly not a dictator
i’m sure it’s a better country than Russia, Belarus at the moment, and their music scene is also very diverse, from ethnic q-pop to mainstream q-pop (mainstream is more similar to korean k-pop, ethnic q-pop is edgy, alternative pop)
but regular pop with a kazakhi touch too (Luina is similar to artists like Efendi, Eleni, Tamta, with a quirky hint of female Mikolas, Hey Yo is a great bop from her, google it)
Sure, why not? With Russia and Belarus (so far, in a long run) out, there are spots open. I’d also like to see Monaco, Andorra, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Hungary, and Turkiye back at some point, but having Kazakhstan in the adult ESC also feels like a good idea. As long as there’s effort and fair play from their part, they are welcome.
I was just reading the Wiki page for Khabar. Not sure if I like what I read.
I’m not exactly enamoured with the idea of introducing another authoritarian regime to ESC either. It could, on a good side, help the Kazakhs see other cultures in a positive light, and create a mutual breaking of barriers and prejudices. On a flip side, we should be wary of the human rights issues participating countries have. It’s often a balancing act of opening up vs keeping some basic moral standards.
*while keeping some moral standards* not ”vs”, of course.
I worry that by inviting them to play with us, it gives them some sort of validation, and people across Europe just start assuming that everything is okay. I remember people being surprised at what happened in Belarus, they had no idea their was a dictator so close. I also don’t like giving them the chance at a big platform for propaganda. Like Baku 2012.
Authoritarian regimes have always existed in Eurovision. Francoist Spain was in the competition for 14 years. Portugal also was authoritarian for the first decade of its participation. Belarus and Russia are obviously authoritarian. Azerbaijan as well. Yugoslavia participated and was authoritarian. You also have a lot of nations in Europe electing far-right governments Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Italy to name a few. Europe is backsliding as a whole. I am of course not a fan of authoritarianism but to use it as a metric for future members when it already exists in current participants is hypocritical. The call is quite… Read more »
Slovakia almost came back in 2023 but just almost, they found a new excuse
I mean, they’re afraid of coming back and faring like they did before pulling out, I can’t blame them. I think the only way where Slovakia can surely come back is if Czechia wins
I don’t know I will remain neutral on this, the only thing is that the limited human rights in this country doesn’t really fit the Eurovision values at all, but while some others actual and past participating countries are not better about this …
One thing remarkable is their big determination to participate since years while some already participating countries don’t show motivation at all.
Isn’t Australia last participation would be at 2023 unless they given another extension, then there’s Belarus and Russia who got banned and numerous countries in peril due to unpaid debt and some prefer not to comeback. I think it would be great to welcome new countries who are Interested in Eurovision.
I think 2023 is Australia’s last year of participation under their Current contract, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it got renewed for another few years.
let’s not be silly, they’re pretty much a permanent participant at this point
Wouldn’t it be cool if Australia win that they are allowed to invite New Zealand? Culture ties to Europe, Timezone exactly 12 hours ahead of GMT (6am isn’t too early to wake up)…TVNZ an associate member of EBU….would atleast give Australia a chance at getting some public votes too.
We’ll see if Kazakhstan ever makes its debut at the grown-up Eurovision, but I think it’s a bit over optimistic to expect them to debut for 2023. I think a 2024 or 2025 debut is more likely If it ever happens. But I’m not holding my breath for a Kazakh debut.
I mean, given their good quality of entries in the junior contest, I would say it would be worth giving them a chance. I hope this is the case, would be nice to have them part of both contests.
Great stuff! I hope it works out – come join the fun Kazahkstan, you are more than welcome!
I do not believe in normalizing authoritarian states. Yes, it will give the nice people of Kazakhstan a week of fun television, but long term it will do them much more harm.
I would like to know more about the difference between “associate” member and actual member. I’m talking money. It does not seem fair to kick out Romania for unpaid bills, and then welcome others who never have to pay those bills in the first place.
I doubt australia gets to perform at eurovision for free
Of course not. They need to pay the participation fee, but not the overall membership fee. Which is much bigger.
I think it’s based on geography. Australia and Kazakhstan are associates members because they are just outside the speare to be considered full-time members.
Yeah, but do they need to pay to be associates? How much? A lot less than actual members, I’m guessing.
I have no idea to be honest. I’m not an expert in how EBU membership works.
Every member pays a different amount, a percentage of their annual budget. The biggest countries pay the most, the smallest the least. I’m not sure if associate members pay anything – probably not much. I can’t see NBC or CBS or ABC being associate members if it cost them much money.