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We know why European Union flags were banned at Eurovision.  “Nothing was forbidden”

We know why European Union flags were banned at Eurovision. “Nothing was forbidden”

After high-ranking members of the European Commission expressed their concern about the ban on carrying European Union flags to Eurovision concerts in Malmo, the organizer of the competition issued a statement. In short: It wasn’t us who banned it, it was Sweden.

This year’s was one of the most politicized in recent years. The main organizer of the competition – the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) – went to great lengths to separate music from politics. However, each subsequent decision was only more and more tainted with politics, which could be heard at the concerts in Malmo and seen in the voting results of individual countries.

The European Commission joined the group of protesters – apart from disgusted viewers, discouraged performers and nervous participating countries. , Ursula von der Leyen and Guy Verhofstadt also spoke. The EBU responded to the allegations. He washes his hands.

Eurovision 2024. EBU refutes the accusation of banning European Union flags

Only the flags of participating countries and flags from the so-called “pride” groups, i.e. supporting the LGBT community. It was not allowed to wave the flags of countries that did not take part in Eurovision, as evidenced by, among others, sympathizers of Palestine, which is at war with Israel. Displays of local, symbolic patriotism, such as the traditional Palestinian headscarf, were banned. Vocalists will now have to pay fines for breaking the rules for breaking the principle of apoliticality – this fate will befall, for example, the Frenchman Sliman, who interrupted the song during rehearsal and appealed for unity beyond divisions.

It turns out that the ban also covered the European Union flag – it was not allowed to be brought into the concert hall in Malmo, and it was not visible on the performing artists, even though most of them come from EU countries. However, the EBU washes its hands of it, claiming that it has not prohibited anyone from doing anything when it comes to the Union flag. Moreover, the EBU claims that this was a decision made solely by the Swedish broadcaster, co-organizer of this year’s competition – SVT.

In previous years, the Swedish broadcaster allowed national and rainbow flags to be carried. There have never been any regulations prohibiting the raising of the European Union flag. Due to stronger than usual geopolitical frictions, this year SVT decided to impose stronger restrictions on what flags can be brought to the concert. We will review these decisions in connection with the 2025 competition together with the new broadcaster, the EBU said in a statement.

Due to Switzerland’s victory, next year’s Eurovision will be held there. It is not yet known which Swiss city will organize the competition. The last time Switzerland organized the competition was in 1989 and 1956 – in Lausanne and Lugano.

Is the ban on flying European Union flags also political?

Meanwhile, the ban on carrying European Union flags, as pointed out by representatives of the European Commission, was as political an action as the ban on bringing symbols of support for Palestine, which was supposed to be an action against the politicization of Eurovision. Israel’s war with Palestine is not the only conflict involving the countries participating in the competition. Georgians also have problems. . European Union flags present at the protests have become a symbol of Georgians’ fight to turn towards the West. For some members of the European Commission, banning them during Eurovision is a clear nod to Russia, which was excluded from the competition due to the war with Ukraine.

Source: Gazeta

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