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Fifty-two countries have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since it started in 1956. Of these, twenty-seven have won the contest. The contest, organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), is held annually between members of the Union. Broadcasters from different countries submit songs to the event, and cast votes to determine the most popular in the competition.

Participation in the contest is primarily open to all active member broadcasters of the EBU. To be an active member, broadcasters must be a member of the European Broadcasting Union, or be in a Council of Europe member country. Eligibility to participate is not determined by geographic inclusion within the continent of Europe, despite the "Euro" in "Eurovision" — nor does it have a direct connection with the European Union. Several countries geographically outside the boundaries of Europe have competed: Israel, Cyprus and Armenia, in Western Asia, since 1973, 1981 and 2006 respectively; Morocco, in North Africa, in the 1980 competition alone; and Australia making a debut in the 2015 contest. In addition, several transcontinental countries with only part of their territory in Europe have competed: Turkey, since 1975; Russia, since 1994; Georgia, since 2007; and Azerbaijan, which made its first appearance in the 2008 edition. Two of the countries that have previously sought to enter the competition, Lebanon and Tunisia, in Western Asia and North Africa respectively, are also outside of Europe. The Gulf state of Qatar, in Western Asia, announced in 2009 its interest in joining the contest in time for the 2011 edition. However, this did not materialise, and there are no known plans for a future Qatari entry the Eurovision Song Contest. Australia, where the contest has been broadcast since the 1970s, debuted as a participant in the 2015 edition, with entries in 2016 and 2017.

The number of countries participating each year has grown steadily, from seven in 1956 to over twenty in the late 1980s. A record 43 countries participated in 2008 and 2011. As the number of contestants has risen, preliminary competitions and relegation have been introduced, to ensure that as many countries as possible get the chance to compete. In 1993, a preliminary show, Kvalifikacija za Millstreet ("Qualification for Millstreet"), was held to select three Eastern European countries to compete for the first time at the main Contest. After the 1993 Contest, a relegation rule was introduced; the six lowest-placed countries in the contest would not compete the following year. In 1996, a new system was introduced. Audio tapes of all twenty-nine entrants were submitted to national juries. The twenty-two highest-placed songs after the juries voted reached the contest. Norway, as host country, was given a bye to the final. From 1997 to 2001 a system was used whereby the countries with the lowest average scores over the previous five years were relegated. Countries could not be relegated for more than one year.

Between 2001 and 2003, the relegation system used in 1994 and 1995 was used. In 2004, a semi-final was introduced. The ten highest-placed countries in the previous year's Contest qualified for the final, along with the "Big Four": the largest financial contributors to the EBU. All other countries entered the semi-final. Ten countries qualified from the semi, leaving a final of twenty-four.[1] In 2008, two semi-finals were held with all countries, except the host country and the Big Four, participating in one of the semi-finals.[2]

Some countries, such as Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, have entered on all but a handful of occasions; Morocco, on the other hand, has only entered once. Two countries, Tunisia and Lebanon, have attempted to enter the contest but withdrew before making a début. Liechtenstein, a country without an eligible television service, tried unsuccessfully to enter in 1976.[3]

Participants

Template:Multiple image The following table lists the countries that have participated in the contest at least once. Shading indicates countries that have withdrawn from the contest.

Morocco participated in the contest once, in 1980. Luxembourg, one of the original seven participants, has not been seen at the contest since 1993. Italy withdrew from the contest in 1997 and returned in 2011. Slovakia previously competed three times between 1994 and 1998, failing to break into the top ten, but returned in 2009.[4] Monaco returned to the contest in 2004, after over two decades out of the contest. However, the country failed to advance from the semi-final with each of its first three entries post-return, and withdrew after the 2006 Contest.[5]

Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro were both dissolved, in 1991 and 2006 respectively. Serbia and Montenegro in the attempt to mask as Yugoslavia, participated in the 1992 Contest under its name but representing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which consisted of only the two republics. Both Montenegro and Serbia have competed as separate countries since 2007.[6]

Table key

To see the table key, see them on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_in_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest#Participants

Country Debut year Latest entry Entries Wins Broadcaster(s)
Flag of Albania Albania
2004
2017
14
0
RTSH
Flag of Andorra Andorra
2004
2009
6
0
RTVA
Flag of Armenia Armenia
2006
2017
11
0
AMPTV
Flag of Australia Australia
2015
2017
3
0
SBS
Flag of Austria Austria
1957
2017
50
2
ORF
Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
[[Eurovision Song Contest 2008|2008}}
2017
10
1
İTV
Flag of Belarus Belarus
2004
2017
14
0
BTRC
Flag of Belgium Belgium
1956
2017
59
1
VRT (Dutch)
RTBF (French)Template:Ref label
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina
1993
2016
19
0
BHRT
Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria
2005
2017
11
0
BNT
Flag of Croatia Croatia
1993
2017
23
0
HRT
Flag of Cyprus Cyprus
1981
2017
34
0
CyBC
Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic
2007
2017
6
0
ČT
Denmark, eurovision Denmark
1957
2017
46
3
DR
Flag of Estonia Estonia
1994
2017
23
1
ERR
Flag of Finland Finland
1961
2017
51
1
YLE
France France
1956
2017
60
5
RTF (1956–1964)
ORTF (1965–1974)
TF1 (1975–1981)
France Télévisions (1983–)
Flag of Georgia Georgia
2007
2017
10
0
GPB
Flag of Germany Germany
1956
2017
61
2
HR (1956–1978) (ARD)
BR (1979–1991) (ARD)
MDR (1992–1995) (ARD)
NDR (1996–) (ARD)
Flag of Greece Greece
1974
2017
38
1
ERT (1974–2013, 2016–)
NERIT (2014–2015)
Flag of Hungary Hungary
1994
2017
15
0
MTVA
Flag of Iceland Iceland
1986
2017
30
0
RÚV
Flag of Ireland Ireland
1965
2017
51
7
RTÉ
Flag of Israel Israel
1973
2017
40
3
IBA (1973–2017)
Flag of Italy Italy
1956
2017
43
2
RAI
Flag of Latvia Latvia
2000
2017
18
1
LTV
Flag of Lithuania Lithuania
1994
2017
18
0
LRT
Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg
1956
1993
37
5
CLT
Flag of Macedonia F.Y.R. Macedonia
1998
2017
17
0
MKRTV
Flag of Malta Malta
1971
2017
30
0
PBS
Flag of Moldova Moldova
2005
2017
13
0
TRM
Flag of Monaco Monaco
1959
2006
24
1
TMC
Flag of Montenegro Montenegro
2007
2017
9
0
RTCG
Flag of Morocco Morocco
1980
1980
1
0
SNRT
Flag of the Netherlands.svg The Netherlands
1956
2017
58
4
NTS (1956–1969)
NOS (1970–2009)
TROS (2010–2013)
AVROTROS (2014–)
Flag of Norway Norway
1960
2017
56
3
NRK
Flag of Poland Poland
1994
2017
20
0
TVP
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal
1964
2017
49
1
RTP
Flag of Romania Romania
1994
2017
18
0
TVR
Flag of Russia.svg Russia
1994
2016
20
1
RTR (1994, 1996, 2008–)
C1R (1995–)Template:Ref label
Flag of San Marino San Marino <center2008</center>
2017
8
0
SMRTV
Flag of Serbia Serbia
2007
2017
10
1
RTS
Serbiaandmontenegro Serbia & Montenegro
2004
2005
2
0
UJRT
Flag of Slovakia Slovakia
1994
2012
7
0
STV (1994–2010)
RTVS (2011–2012)
Flag of Slovenia Slovenia
1993
2017
23
0
RTV SLO
Flag of Spain.svg Spain
1961
2017
57
2
TVE
Flag of Sweden Sweden
1958
2017
57
6
Sveriges Radiotjänst (1958)
SR (1959–1979)
SVT (1980–)
Flag of Switzerland Switzerland
1956
2017
58
2
SRG SSR
Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey
1975
2012
34
1
TRT
Flag of Ukraine Ukraine
2003
2017
14
2
UA:PBC
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
1957
2017
60
5
BBC
Flag of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia
1961
1992
27
1
JRT

Participating countries in the decades

The table lists the participating countries in each decade since the first Eurovision Song Contest was held in 1956.

Seven countries participated in the first contest. Since then, the number of entries has increased steadily. In 1970, a Nordic-led boycott of the contest reduced the number of countries entering to twelve.[7] By the late 1980s, over twenty countries had become standard.

In 1993, the collapse of the USSR in Eastern Europe gave many new countries the opportunity to compete. Three countries—Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, all of them former Yugoslav republics, won through from a pre-qualifier to compete. After the 1993 event, a relegation system was introduced, allowing even more Eastern European countries to compete: seven more made their debut in 1994.

In 2003, three countries applied to make their debut: Albania, Belarus and Ukraine. In addition, Serbia and Montenegro, who had not competed since 1992, applied to return. The EBU, having originally accepted the four countries' applications, later rejected all but Ukraine; allowing four extra countries to compete would have meant relegating too many countries. The semi-final was introduced in 2004 in an attempt to prevent situations like this. The Union set a limit of forty countries, but by 2005 thirty-nine were competing. In 2007, the EBU lifted the limit, allowing forty-two countries to compete. Two semi-finals were held for the first time in 2008.

Table key

To see the table key, see them on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_in_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest#Participating_countries_in_the_decades


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