Bosnia and Herzegovina is not likely to return to the Eurovision Song Contest for its 2018 edition. Head of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian delegation, Lejla A. Babović told EuroVisionary, that she thinks, that it is very unlikely.
Since 2012 Bosnia and Herzegovina participated only once in the Eurovision Song Contest due to the national public broadcaster’s (BHRT) heavy financial problems. This have been caused by an ineffective collection system of the licence fee. The Bosnian government’s many attempts to agree on a long-term solution for funding public service media failed every time. It brought public service media into danger of collapsing, that would have a destroying effect not only on the media system – it would also contribute to a further fragmentation of the country along the ethnic lines.
Back in June this year, various international organisations, including EBU, BHRT, the Council of Europe and the European Federation of Journalists, met in Sarajevo in order to try to contribute in solving the problems, that public service media in Bosnian and Herzegovina is facing. The participants came up with 23 recommendations, which were sent to all relevant authorities in the country and international partners. They also agreed on, that the collapse of public service media is unacceptable.
In the beginning of this month BHRT moved a step closer to securing sustainable funding by making an agreement with the Electric Company (Elektroprivreda – JP EP). It means that the licence fee will be collected through electricity bills from August 2017. Although it is expected, that this development should have a positive impact on Bosnia and Herzegovina chances to return to the Eurovision Song Contest already next year, Head of Delegation Lejla A. Babović is far from optimistic regarding the issue simply because there might not be enough time.
Although BHRT has signed an agreement with Electric Company about collecting the license fee through electricity bills, we need a certain time in order to consolidate our business activities and make plans for how to repay our debt. This is the reason why I think, that it is not realistic to see Bosnia and Herzegovina participate at 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. However for the final decision about the participation we have to wait until September 15th this year, which is the deadline to apply for participation at 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
Lejla A. Babović, Head of Delegation for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Eurovision Song Contest
The country made its debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in Milstreet in 1993, when Fazla came 16th in the final with the song Sva bol svijeta. Bosnia and Herzegovina didn’t participate in the contest from 2013 to 2015 due to broadcaster BHRT’s financial problems.
Bosnia and Herzegovina re-entered the competition again in Stockholm in 2016 with the song Ljubav je. Dalal, Deen, Jala and Anja Rucner, who performed the song, failed to qualify Bosnia for the final for the first time in history of the contest, as they finished 11th in the first semi-final.
This year the country withdrew from the contest still due to the financial problems within the national public broadcaster. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s best result was in 2006, when Hari Mata Hari came 3rd in the final with the song Lejla.
In the video below you can enjoy their 2010 entry Thunder And Lightning by Vukašin Brajić. It finished 17th in the final.