Three nations will be missing from next year’s Eurovision line-up, with North Madeconia, Montenegro and Bulgaria withdrawing from the competition.
For the first time in their participation history, North Macedonia will not compete at Eurovision 2023. Broadcaster MRT confirmed the news via social media outlets, offering the below statement:
‘Such a decision is in the best interest of the citizens, taking into account the increased costs due to the energy crisis, which occupy a large part of the budget of the Public Service, as well as the increased registration fee for the participation in “Eurosong 2023”, which until last year was 39,143.00 euros, and the next year is expected to be higher. This decision will enable the saving of funds that should be set aside for the Macedonian delegation’s stay in Liverpool, where the “Eurosong 2023” is being held.
However, MRT will broadcast the event, the two semi-final evenings and the grand final on its services. MRT hopes that the situation will stabilize, after which the country will return again with participation in Eurovision in 2024.’
However, North Macedonia will still compete in the upcoming Junior Eurovision Song Contest, held in Yerevan.
Montenegrin broadcaster RTCG confirmed that they would not be present at Eurovision 2023. The broadcaster also cited the costs of participation as a key factor for their withdrawal. Read the statement below:
‘In addition to the significant costs of the registration fee, as well as the cost of staying in Great Britain – we also faced a lack of interest from sponsors, so we decided to direct existing resources to the financing of current and planned national projects and organizational and program reforms, which entail significant investment interventions in equipment and premises’
This is not the first time that Montenegro has withdrawn from the competition. The country did not compete between 2010 and 2011, and also between 2020 and 2021.
Bulgaria will sit out of the next edition of Eurovision, confirmed through a social media message from the official BNT Eurovision account. Read the message below:
‘Bulgaria will not be taking part at Eurovision 2023 and most probably in the future editions as well. After analysis, it was decided that this program does not present an interest for the broadcaster any longer.’
Bulgaria has previously withdrawn on two occasions. They did not compete between 2014 and 2016, and again in 2019. On these occasions the broadcaster cited budget issues for their non-participation.