The European Union Challenges Eurovision's Flag Ban

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.14 - 2024 8:12 AM CET

World
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
On Monday, May 13, the European Union filed an official complaint with the Eurovision song contest broadcaster for not allowing the EU flag at this year's final.

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The European Union has filed an official complaint against the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for not permitting the display of the EU flag during this year's Eurovision Song Contest finale. This action came to light after the event held on Saturday, which was not without its share of controversy.

"Such actions cast a shadow over what is meant to be a joyous occasion for peoples across Europe," European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas wrote in a letter to the EBU.

"With the EU being targeted by malicious and authoritarian actors, the EBU’s decision contributed to discrediting a symbol that unites all Europeans."

He demanded the broadcaster “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 what and for whom the Eurovision Song Contest stands,” Schinas added.

The contest, held on Saturday, saw Switzerland’s Nemo becoming the first non-binary artist to win, amid controversies, particularly concerning Israel's participation during the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

While twenty-five nations participated, the debate largely focused on Israel's eligibility in the competition.

Despite a general ban on all flags except those of the participating countries, Nemo managed to display a non-binary emblem during the show's introduction.

The EU flag, commonly displayed alongside national flags at official buildings and events by member states, was notably absent due to the restrictions.

The International Olympic Committee has approved the flag’s presence at upcoming summer games in Paris.

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