The Scoop

Parliament seemingly unwilling to invest in Eurovision 2020

When Rotterdam was revealed as host city for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, NPO director Shula Rijxman said they were hoping for €15 to €20 million extra from parliament. However, parliament has indicated that they’re not particularly willing to throw such a sum of money at the event.

Find it elsewhere

Three parties in parliament, VVD, SP and PVV are especially unwilling to invest, De Telegraaf reports. Zohair el Yassini, MP for the biggest party VVD, has said it’s just “same old, same old” from NPO: “Holding out your hand to parliament. Those days are over.” El Yassini claims NPO, and especially AVROTROS, have extra funds available for events. This extra money is visible on the end of year accounts. AVROTROS have an estimated €32 million in there.

A similar sound comes from PVV. The conservative nationalist party, led by Geert Wilders isn’t particularly known for an eagerness to increase NPO spending. Their stance on this matter therefore is hardly a surprise. MP Martin Bosma thinks NPO needs to look elsewhere for their money. There’s plenty of budget cuts they can make, according to PVV.

More surprising is the refusal of the Socialist Party. The left wing parties in the Netherlands normally support initiatives to invest in the public broadcaster, but not this time. MP Peter Kwint thinks it would be “unwise” to fund an event with such amounts of public money.

In total the three aforementioned parties have 67 MPs. The Dutch parliament has a total of 150 MPs, so they’re not quite a majority yet. However, D66 and GroenLinks are in doubt with other parties yet to comment.

D66 and GroenLinks in doubt

Coalition member D66 is not as firm as the other three parties mentioned before. MP Joost Sneller thinks the organisers first need to show parliament the budget for the Eurovision Song Contest next year. He too says it’s odd to give out money before seeing the budget. He is mostly interested in the contributions of the Rotterdam city council and the private sector.

Opposition party GroenLinks is of a similar opinion. They too think it’s too early to decide anything when it comes to public money.

“Impossible for €15 million”

In recent reports, Dutch media have often pointed to Sweden as an example of how to host the contest whilst also being responsible with the budget. Often claims are made that SVT managed to stage the 2016 contest for a mere €15 million.

Sietse Bakked, Executive Producer Event for next year, has claimed on Twitter that such a budget is impossible and it also was for Sweden. More money was invested in other fronts of the contest. The budget is always a complicated side to hosting Eurovision, as Israel also showed last year. They had a budget crisis just a day before the deadline.

It’s not all negativity when it comes to the budget for the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam. Columnist Özcan Akyol has received a lot of praise for his most recent article in AD. In there, he says the Netherlands would be best off spending the money NPO need to make the event “unforgettable” next year.

Would you say Dutch parliament needs to agree to spending more money on the Eurovision Song Contest 2020? Let us know!

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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