Thursday

11th Aug 2022

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.

EU Commission casts doubt on Russian Sputnik vaccine

Hungary is buying up vaccines from Russia and China. But tricky regulatory oversight questions remain as the European Commission sheds doubt on the quality and safety of Sputnik production.

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.

Opinion

Russia puts EU in nuclear-energy paradox

There's unprecedented international anxiety about the safety of Ukraine's nuclear reactors, but many European countries are also turning to nuclear power to secure energy supplies.

EU hopeful of Iran nuclear deal

A possible deal to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear pact is within reach, says the European Union. Washington backs the final proposals, but Tehran remains cautious.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us