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Eurovision Song Contest

EU Files Official Complaint Over Flag Ban at Eurovision Song Contest

Brussels, May 14, 2024, The Europe Today: The European Union has lodged an official complaint with the Swiss-based European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest, over its decision to prohibit contestants from waving the EU flag at this year’s final in Malmo, Sweden.

European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas conveyed the EU’s discontent in a letter addressed to the EBU, stating, “Such actions cast a shadow over what is meant to be a joyous occasion for peoples across Europe.” Schinas emphasized that the EU, often targeted by malicious and authoritarian actors, views the EBU’s decision as detrimental to the symbol that unites Europeans.

The European Commission announced plans for a “very lively discussion” with the Eurovision organizers to address the ban. Schinas has demanded a thorough explanation from the broadcaster, urging them to “explain the rationale behind this decision and attribute responsibility where it is due.”

“The incoherence in the EBU’s stance left myself and millions of viewers wondering for what and for whom the Eurovision Song Contest stands,” Schinas wrote, highlighting the widespread confusion and disappointment among the audience.

Schinas also noted the particularly poor timing of the ban, which comes just a month before EU-wide parliamentary elections, exacerbating concerns about the implications of such a restriction.

The European Union’s strong response underscores the importance of the Eurovision Song Contest as a platform for cultural expression and unity among its member states. The Commission’s call for accountability seeks to ensure that future events respect the symbols and values that represent the collective identity of Europeans.