The European Broadcasting Union has just announced the entrants for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.
With Poland and Portugal returning and the inclusion of Greece with a new broadcaster, at least 36 nations will take to the Copenhagen stage in May. Slovenia, and its broadcaster RTVSLO, has been given a ten day extension to the deadline and may yet join the party in Denmark.
The countries and broadcasters that will be represented in Copenhagen are:
Albania (RTSH), Armenia (AMPTV), Austria (ORF), Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV), Belarus (BTRC), Belgium (VRT), Denmark (DR), Estonia (ERR), Finland (YLE), France (France 3), Georgia (GPB), Germany (NDR), Greece (NERIT), Hungary (MTV), Iceland (RÚV), Ireland (RTÉ), Israel (IBA), Italy (RAI), Latvia (LTV), Lithuania (LRT), FYR Macedonia (MKRTV), Malta (PBS), Moldova (TRM), Montenegro (RTCG), the Netherlands (AvroTros), Norway (NRK), Poland (TVP), Portugal (RTP), Romania (TVR), Russia (RTR), San Marino (SRMTV), Spain (TVE), Sweden (SVT), Switzerland (SRG SSR), United Kingdom (BBC) and Ukraine (NTU).
As Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Denmark have automatically qualified to the Final, there will be two semifinals of 15 (as it stands without Slovenia) from which 10 countries in each will qualify.
The EBU also published the reasons as to the absences of certain nations in 2014:
The EBU made a “substantial effort” working with Members to find solutions for financial and organisational challenges, yet Bulgaria, Cyprus and Serbia saw no option but opting out of the 2014 contest.
Croatia stays home due to organisational reasons, Bosnia & Herzegovina withdrew after initially signing up for the contest. Several broadcasters already expressed to the EBU their intention to return in 2015, when the competition celebrates its 60th anniversary.