The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, has said Kosovo will not be eligible to enter the contest in 2013. “Kosovo is not an active member of the EBU and as a result cannot take part in Eurovision”, Sand says. Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, has been attempting to enter Eurovision for the past several years. Serbia, which does not recognise Kosovo’s independence, has previously threatened to pull out of the contest if Kosovo was invited to take part, contrary to EBU rules. Several EBU member states have not recognised Kosovo’s independence including Spain, Russia and Greece.
Commenting on the ongoing financial crisis, Sand comments, “We do not expect major problems. The host broadcaster SVT is in a stable financial position. On the other hand, it is possible that some countries might not take part due to a lack of funds like Portugal and Poland”. Furthermore, Sand believes it was a smart decision to change voting procedures back in 2009, “We are constantly seeking ways to improve our voting system. I believe we have a much more balanced system now. However, I don’t see anything wrong with someone voting for a song they like best even if it’s from a neighbouring country”, Sand concludes.