The European Broadcasting Union has recently confirmed that 20 countries will take a part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018. This year, the Junior version of the Eurovision Song Contest will take a place in Minsk, Belarus, on 25 November at the Minsk-Arena. The official slogan of Belarusian competition is #LightUp.
A record number of 20 countries will travel to Minsk. The full list of this year’s Junior Eurovision can be seen down below.
The biggest surprise on this list, is the the former Soviet Republic – Kazakhstan which will take a part for the first time ever in this competition. The 2018 Junior Eurovision will also mark the first time that Kazakhstan has participated in any of the Eurovision events.
Kazakhstan together with Australia are now the two countries with associate membership of the EBU who have received a guest invitation to compete in JESC. Kazakstan will join Junior Eurovision as a special guest, since the country’s broadcaster Khabar Agency is outside of the European Broadcasting Area and not a member of the Council of Europe, so is not eligible to become an active Member of the EBU.
But the participation of Kazakhstan at this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest opens the very real possibility that Kazakhstan could potentially be invited to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Surprise on this list is also Wales, which now will participate as an individual country, with the Welsh-language public broadcaster S4C taking responsibility for the entry.
This British country has previously had a presence at Junior Eurovision, as part of the United Kingdom in their brief participation period from 2003 to 2005. United Kingdom withdrew from competing in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2006, and have yet to return to the contest.
On the list above, we can see France, which is back after 14 years of absence. Good luck to all participating countries!