What is Eurovision?

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition which started back in 1956. The entrants in the competition are countries which are part of the European Broadcasting Union. This is not related to the European Union(EU) and the country does not have to be geographically within Europe to enter. In the first competition in 1956 only seven countries entered. Since then, 52 different countries have entered.  In 2017 there were 42 entrants.

Eurovision_Song_Contest_2017_logo

Each entrant must have someone sing an original song live. After each entrant has sung, there is a combined vote by the audience and a panel of judges from each country. These two votes are turned into points. The country that receives the most points wins, and that country hosts the competition the next year. Last year the winner was Ukraine, so the competition was held this year in its capital city, Kiev.

For this year’s promo video, please see below:  

What is the European Union(EU)?

The European Union is a group of 28 countries that have joined together in an economic and political union. The aims of this union are to improve the lives of its 500 million citizens by pooling resources and laws into an internal single market. They share laws and some of the countries even share a currency (19 member states use the EURO). In parts of Europe (the Schengen Area) there is an agreement that people can travel between member states without having to cross formal passport controls.

The current 28 member states are:

Austria

Belgium

Bulgaria

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

For some further reading and some fun games and quizzes click here