Will Ukraine organize the 2023 edition?

From our special correspondent in Turin (Italy)

“Next year, Ukraine will host Eurovision! », announced on social media, on the night of Saturday to Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A declaration made without delay, just after the victory of the Kalush Orchestra in Turin. The Head of State already imagines the 2023 edition to be held in a city of Mariupol “free, in peace, rebuilt”.

For singer Oleh Psiuk, leader of the winning group, the question does not arise either. He had already made it known that he did not envisage, in the event of victory, that the next competition would take place elsewhere than in his country. After the final, he projected himself into a “new, integrated, happy Ukraine”.

In his congratulatory message, Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, for his part declared “wish that Eurovision next year could be held in kyiv, in a free and united Ukraine. »

However, it is quite premature, for obvious reasons, to say that the competition will actually take over Ukrainian territory in the coming months. Asked on Wednesday what would happen if Ukraine won, Martin Österdahl limited himself to a factual answer. “When we have a winner, we have a dialogue with the broadcaster of that country. We follow the same process every year. There are different timelines – it’s a project on a one-year cycle – we need a number of guarantees and assurances,” he said.


This Sunday, during the winners’ press conference, he followed the usual protocol by handing the head of the Ukrainian delegation, Oksana Skybinska, the Eurovision Song Contest welcome pack – a sort of detailed specification. “I know you know what it means and involves to organize this event”, he said to him, without lingering, as relayed variety.

In a press release​, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which manages the organization of Eurovision, insisted: “Obviously, hosting next year’s competition involves new challenges. However, like every year, we are waiting to discuss all the conditions and responsibilities of hosting the competition with the UA channel: PBC and all other stakeholders to ensure we have the most appropriate arrangement. »

An implicit way of evoking a plan B? Some countries have already expressed their interest in hosting the 2023 edition – which would be organized in collaboration with the Ukrainian broadcaster. El Confidential suggests that the Spanish channel RTVE began to raise the subject several days ago, while the Swedish daily Aftonbladet writes that the mayor of Stockholm, Anna König Jerlmyr, would be ready to apply of his city.

If the rule is that the winning country of Eurovision organizes the next edition, it is not an obligation. The last time this scenario arose was in 1980. Israel had won the competition it was organizing in 1979 but the Jewish state gave up, for financial reasons. The event was finally held in The Hague (Netherlands). On the other hand, the EBU had never had to ask itself the question of what would happen if the winning country was a country at war: the situation is unprecedented.

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