Last year they ruled out a return for this year’s contest but Bosnia and Herzegovina’s broadcaster BHRT are looking towards a return to Eurovision. Right now, however that would be extremely difficult due to the current funding situation. BHRT’s Head Of International affairs Lejla A. Babović spoke to Bosnian outlet Dnevni avas. Lejla talks about the desire to return and the reasons behind the funding issues for BHRT.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s funding situation
BHRT’s Head of International Affairs Lejla A. Babović said the following when speaking about a return to Eurovision for the country:
“The re-return of BHRT to the Eurovision Song Contest is certainly something we aspire to, but under the conditions in which BHRT operates it is unworkable”Lejla A. Babović on a possible Eurovision return for Bosnia and Herzegovina
There has been explanation given for why the financial situation for BHRT is what it is at the moment. Lejla explains went on to explain to Dnevni avaz that fault lies with fellow Bosnian and Herzegovina broadcaster RTRS, (The Serbian speaking public broadcaster in the country).
“For the period from 2017 to the end of last year, rtrs owes us more than 61 million KM on this basis alone. That’s how much RTRS collected by law on behalf of BHRT, but did not transfer that money to BHRT but spent it for its own purposes”Lejla A. Babović on BHRT’s funding issues.
The positives of a return to Eurovision
As a way to promote themselves on the International stage and to promote artists domestically BHRT see Eurovision as a very important factor in that. Lejla A. Babović commented the following to Dnevni avas on the effects of non-participation:
“Of course both BiH and its music scene are at a loss, but BHRT cannot win this battle alone. It is necessary to involve the wider social community in order for BHRT to get its own legally prescribed part of the RTV tax and to be able to achieve the role of promoting BiH, its authors, performers, artists on the international scene”Lejla A. Babović on hopes to participate in Eurovision in the future
Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Eurovision Journey
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a checkered history with the Eurovision Song Contest. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent country. The nation made their debut at the Contest in 1993 with Fazla’s “Sva Bol Svijeta”.
Following a string of mid-table results, Hari Mata Hari gave the nation their best placing in the Contest in 2006, finishing in 3rd place with “Lejla”. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s last appearance at the Contest was in 2016, when Deen, Dalal, Ana Rucner and Jala represented the country in Stockholm. However, this became the first time the country failed to qualify for the final, finishing in 11th place in the first semi-final. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been absent ever since.
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News Source: Dnevni avas
Photo Source: Eurovision.tv