SWITZERLAND – Kazakhstan was exceptionally invited for the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest by the JESC Reference Group and caused a lot of questions and reactions among the Eurofan community. Thee main issue for them is whether the country will attend its first ever Eurovision edition in 2019.
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. 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.
Regarding the participation of Wales in Junior Eurovision it was clear by the EBU that since the national broadcaster doesn’t want to participate regional broadcasters, associate members of the EBU can apply. S4C, a member of the EBU, registered an interest in participating in, and broadcasting, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018 and they are allowed to do so because the JESC is not broadcast by any other UK wide Member. If more than one EBU Member from the different nations within the United Kingdom applied to take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest then, should the national EBU Members not wish to participate as the United Kingdom, those applications would be duly considered by the EBU and the JESC Reference Group.