Friday

23rd Apr 2021

EU's first-ever 'Eurovision' song stirs controversy

  • 'European way of life' commissioner and baritone Margaritis Schinas (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

EU institutions, on Thursday (1 April), unveiled a first-ever and immediately controversial entry into the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in the Netherlands in May.

The song, called 'The EU is Alive', is a pop-homage to a hit from the 1965 musical The Sound of Music.

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  • Commission president Ursula von der Leyen during EU rehearsals (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

It is being added to a line-up of 39 national semi-finalists for the first time in the event's 65-year history to boost public morale in the pandemic.

"In a period of anxiety, the EU needs to show we care about more than just vaccines," European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said.

"We need to rock Europe", she said.

The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the event, said it had "carefully scrutinised the EU entry".

And it was deemed in accord with "rules governing the integrity and dignity" of the contest.

But the EU song immediately stirred political controversy when Britain and Russia complained, in strident terms, about its content.

The EU song begins: "The EU is alive, with the sound of Europe".

Its lyrics go on to say: "The European way of life, is the life for me".

And for the UK, that was "hardcore EU pornoganda," a British foreign office spokesman told EUobserver.

While for the Russian foreign ministry, the EU song was "an act of cultural warfare" designed to "narcotise Russian people".

The EU entry is to be performed by baritone Greek crooner and 'European way of life' commissioner Margaritis Schinas.

It includes a cameo act by Belgian amateur ventriloquist and EU 'justice' commissioner Didier Reynders.

And its lavish, Alpine-themed production opens with von der Leyen cantering through a green valley in a blue-and-gold dirndl, with her arms outstretched.

Ventriloquist EU commissioner Didier Reynders (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

This was EUobserver's April Fools' Day story

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The EU recently signed a huge contract for a US anti-corona drug which, the WHO says, might not work, but there's little transparency on how the deal was made.

Merkel 'open' to EU treaty change on health

Angela Merkel also said that the EU should better take into consideration the different experiences of eastern European countries - which are becoming increasingly confident and do not necessarily want an 'ever-closer union'.

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