EBU: ‘We wanted to give Romania maximum time’

The late decision to expell Romania from taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 has not been received well by fans of the contest on Social Media. The European Broadcasting Union has replied to many questions about the timing surrounding this decision: “We wanted to give maximum time to come to agreement on debt repayment to avoid this action.”

The European Broadcasting Union decided to withdraw the membership services from Romanian broadcaster Televiziunea Română (TVR) due to a repeated non-payment of debts. This means Romania cannot take part in Eurovision 2016, but also is unable to use the satellite streams of the EBU. According to the EBU, the total debt is an amount of 16 million CHF.

“The EBU provides many more services than just Eurovision,” the organisation explains. “We wanted to give maximum time possible to resolve debt issue. We had to act now, because if insolvency is declared before Eurovision 2016, EBU Members risk being unable to recover all of their debt. These insolvency procedures were threatened by the Romanian government in March. We waited as long as we could to allow a solution to be found. The threat of TVR’s insolvency led the Executive Board – made up of other Members – to take this action now.”

The withdraw of Ovidiu Anton’s song ‘Moment of silence’ is a tough decision, especially for the artist and the delegation that already made costs in their preparations for Stockholm. “TVR are responsible for the money they spent on preparation. They were kept fully informed of the situation,” the EBU states.