North Macedonia is pondering its future at Eurovision. The country has only qualified to the Grand Final 6 times in 18 attempts. After four consecutive qualifications from 2004-2007, the Balkan nation has only qualified twice since – with Kaliopi in 2012, and most recently when Tamara Todevska won the jury vote in 2019.
In addition to the poor results, the image of Eurovision has taken a beating in the country of late. Last year, participant Vasil had to edit his music video for “Here I Stand” when a piece of artwork looked too similar to a Bulgarian flag. Then at the Turquoise Carpet this year, Andrea was accused of disrespecting the North Macedonian flag when she tossed it aside for media photos.
North Maceodnia’s HoD Submits a Proposal
At a meeting of the North Macedonian broadcaster MRT’s Programming Council, Eurovision Head of Delegation Meri Popova outlines ways in which North Macedonia might improve its results in future Eurovision Song Contests:
- Long-term strategy: Popova wants to hit the ground running in September. It is necessary to establish clear guidelines for how the artist will be chosen, when MRT applies to participate in Eurovision. Also, Popova suggests that the working group in charge of preparing the Eurovision participation be established from the very beginning.
- Expand the delegation: Having a small delegation who often work on multiple projects, in addition to Eurovision, has always hampered the North Macedonian delegation. Popova wants to see MRT increase the size of the delegation to provide it more stability going forward.
- Increase the budget allocated to their Eurovision participation: This one does not come as much of a surprise. Popova would like to see an increased, and stable sum of money devoted to the North Macedonian Eurovision participation every year, and to have it in place in September as plans get underway for the Contest in May. She blames having a poor budget plan and the instability that comes with that as harming North Macedonia’s success in recent years.
- Better promotion: Popova wants to see an adequate marketing plan allocated for Eurovision. In doing so, MRT would promote its candidacy and optimize the economic possibilities of broadcasting the shows by selling advertising slots during them at a fair price. This could give MRT the cash it needs to better finance its participation, while exploiting the full potential of Eurovision.
- Create a public relations committee: By enacting a public relations committee, MRT could more easily protect the public image of its Eurovision participation, damaged in North Macedonia during their previous participations.
The report published by the Program Council of MRT has tasked the Management of the North Macedonian broadcaster to prepare its own analysis for Eurovision, and to submit additional information on how Popova’s report will be implemented, the income based on marketing from this year and the previous three years through the sale of marketing slots for Eurovision, and information on whether disciplinary measures were taken against the members of the Eurovision delegation, in connection with the scandal that happened at Turin’s Turquoise Carpet.
At time of publishing, 20 countries have confirmed their participation in the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, and North Macedonia is not among them. It remains to be seen if the country can prepare adequately for Eurovision 2023, or if they will take a break and come back in the future. However, given Eurovision’s importance to MRT and the impact of the HoD report, we might just see North Macedonia back next year at Eurovision – wherever it will be!
Do you think North Macedonia can improve and qualify in 2023? Will MRT listen to their HoD’s proposal? Let us know below or on our social media @escbubble !