The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have just announced the participating countries that will take part in the 2011 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. As expected, 43 countries will take part, with the return of Austria, Hungary, San Marino, and of course – Italy. Slovakia will also take part in the contest, after previous doubts that the country would withdraw from the contest.
The 43 nations that will take part in the contest are as follows:
Albania (RTVSH), Armenia (AMPTV), Austria (ORF), Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV), Belarus (BTRC), Belgium (RTBF), Bosnia & Herzegovina (BHRT), Bulgaria (BNT), Croatia (HRT), Cyprus (CyBC), Denmark (DR), Estonia (ERR), Finland (YLE), France (France TV), FYR Macedonia (MKRTV), Georgia (GEGT), Germany (NDR/ARD) (Host Broadcaster), Greece (ERT), Hungary (MTV), Iceland (RÚV), Ireland (RTÉ), Israel (IBA), Italy (RAI), Latvia (LTV), Lithuania (LRT), Malta (PBS), Moldova (TRM), The Netherlands (TROS), Norway (NRK), Poland (TVP), Portugal (RTP), Romania (TVR), Russia (C1R), San Marino (SMRTV), Serbia (RTS), Slovakia (STV), Slovenia (RTVSLO), Spain (RTVE), Sweden (SVT), Switzerland (SRG/SSR), Turkey (TRT), Ukraine (NTU), United Kingdom (BBC)
It has also been announced that Italy will be part of the “Big 5” as one of the biggest financial contributors to the contest, along with the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Germany. This means that the final will be made up of 25 participants (10 qualifiers from each semi, and the “Big 5”).
The semi-final allocation draw will take place on Monday 17th January in Düsseldorf, during the Host City Insignia Exchange. Nineteen countries are expected to take part in each semi-final.