The United Kingdom will host next year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest due to ongoing security issues in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said that while Eurovision winners traditionally host the competition the following year, this can only take place if certain criteria, including safety-related ones, are observed.
“Given the ongoing war since the Russian invasion of this year’s winning country, the EBU has taken the time to conduct a full assessment and feasibility study with both UA:PBC [Ukraine’s public broadcaster] and third-party specialists including on safety and security issues,” the EBU said.
“The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.”
“Following objective analysis, the Reference Group, the ESC’s governing board, has with deep regret concluded that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest under the ESC Rules cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC.”
“The EBU would like to thank UA:PBC for their wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios in the weeks since Kalush Orchestra’s win on 14 May in Turin and share their sadness and disappointment that next year’s Contest cannot be held in Ukraine.”
“The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians.”
The UK, which finished second in this year’s competition, is therefore set to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, with the EBU set to commence discussions with the BBC in this regard.
However, it said it fully intends Ukraine’s 2022 victory to be “reflected” in next year’s show and that this will be a priority in discussions with the BBC.
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