Friday

22nd Oct 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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • 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

Investigation

EU taxpayers in the dark on US corona-drug deal

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.

Gas price spike exposes rift at EU summit

The first topic leaders discussed at the EU summit were the continent's soaring gas prices, which have lead to a spike in household energy bills - amid widespread disagreement on how to solve the issue.

Poland vows not to give into EU 'blackmail' at summit

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte suggested Poland's Covid-19 recovery money should not be approved until Warsaw respects the rulings of the European Court of Justice and dispels doubts about the independence of its judiciary.

EU vows to uphold Paris climate ambition amid scientists' fears

EU leaders called for an "ambitious global response to climate change" to keep the 1.5 degrees global warming limit within reach - after scientists concluded that the projected global increase in fossil-fuel production for 2030 is inconsistent with this target.

News in Brief

  1. Russia's anti-vax campaign backfired, EU says
  2. China angered as MEPs call for Taiwan talks
  3. Emissions from La Palma volcano reach Brussels
  4. Body of eighth victim of Belarus border-crisis found in river
  5. Report: Syrian bank fiddling currency to evade EU sanctions
  6. Nato adopts plan to counter new Russian threats
  7. Alleged killer of British MP 'felt affiliated' to IS
  8. Coronavirus: Belgium returns to 'red' zone

Opinion

Europe can't ignore Chinese encroachment in Ukraine

China's growing economic footprint in Ukraine may already be producing geopolitical consequences that put the country at odds with core European priorities. Volodymyr Zelensky decided earlier this year to withdraw Ukraine's condemnation of Chinese government crimes against the Uighurs.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Gas price spike exposes rift at EU summit
  2. Poland vows not to give into EU 'blackmail' at summit
  3. EU vows to uphold Paris climate ambition amid scientists' fears
  4. Commissions's new migration pact still seeking 'landing zone'
  5. Europe can't ignore Chinese encroachment in Ukraine
  6. Lithuania - where 'biodiversity funding' is cutting down trees
  7. Dutch lawyers take Frontex to EU court over pushbacks
  8. Polish rule-of-law debate boils over to EU summit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us