It is an apolitical competition which arouses diplomatic and therefore... political reactions.
The success of the Ukrainian group Kalush orchestra at Eurovision on the night of Saturday to this Sunday, is accompanied by unusual international reactions due to the particular context in which the victory in this annual European song contest takes place: that of the war in Ukraine.
If Eurovision and politics are officially separated, public affairs often interfere in the competition with many votes by affinity between countries.
This year, the organization itself made a politically marked choice before the first notes sounded by excluding Russia, which could not send a representative to Turin (Italy), host of the competition.
"Help Ukraine and Mariupol!"
Saturday evening, after his performance, the singer of Kalush orchestra spoke.
“Please help Ukraine and Mariupol!
» a destroyed city and its last bastion of resistance, called on stage Oleh Psiuk, whose performance was applauded.
Faced with this declaration, which could have resulted in exclusion from the competition, the organizer put forward the notion of “humanitarian”, which takes precedence over the political aspect of the subject.
“We understand the deep feelings around Ukraine in this context and consider that the comments of the Kalush Orchestra and other artists expressing their support for the Ukrainian people are more humanitarian than political in nature,” the European Union said. Radio-Television (EBU), in an argument taken up by AFP.
The public, by granting a record of points to the Ukrainian representatives, for its part made a choice that is difficult to read other than through a political prism.
“This victory is very important for Ukraine, especially this year.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Glory to Ukraine!
“Reacted the singer in the pink cap.
A few moments later, the president of his country, Volodymyr Zelensky, felt that “our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe”.
In a short text on Telegram messaging, he says that “next year, Ukraine will host Eurovision!
And it announces an ambition.
“We will do our best to one day welcome Eurovision participants and guests to Mariupol, free, peaceful, rebuilt!
The winner of the competition traditionally organizes the next edition.
If the hypothesis of a held in Mariupol is excluded in 2023, hosting the event in areas less affected by the conflict also seems difficult.
Read alsoEurovision: after its victory, is Ukraine obliged to organize the competition next year?
Also on Telegram, Olena Zelenska, wife of the Ukrainian head of state, hailed the success of Kalush orchestra.
Mentioning Stefania, title of the victorious song but also mother of the singer, she writes: “Madame Stefania, mother of Oleg Psyuk.
We are proud of your son with you.
With you, we rejoice in the incredible victory of the Kalush Orchestra at Eurovision.
Every victory, even on the cultural front, is now a victory for Ukraine in its war”.
Normally very distant from Eurovision considerations, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) took a stand this Sunday morning.
“Yesterday we saw the immense support of the public throughout Europe (…) Of course, the song was magnificent, it is magnificent”, reacted the Deputy Secretary General, Mircea Geoana.
Ahead of a meeting of Western military alliance foreign ministers in Berlin, Germany, he added that the Russians had “launched the most brutal and cynical war since World War II” of 1939-1945.
The European Commission, equivalent to a government of the European Union, sent its “congratulations” to Ukraine.
“The whole of Europe is by your side, tonight and forever.
“In a message in English, she assures that the song was able to” grab the hearts of Europeans “.
Congratulations to Ukraine 🇺🇦!
The whole of Europe 🇪🇺 is by your side, tonight and forever.#Eurovision #StandWithUkraine https://t.co/UHZ3GvULdT
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@UEFrance) May 14, 2022
The President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also expressed her "congratulations".
“Tonight your song won our hearts.
We celebrate your victory around the world.
The European Union is with you.
Congratulations #KalushOrchestra and Ukraine for winning #Eurovision
Tonight your song won our heart.
We are celebrating your victory all over the world.
The EU is with you.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) May 14, 2022
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, the meeting of heads of member states and heads of government of the European Union, wrote a message partly in Ukrainian.
“Heartfelt congratulations to Kalush orchestra for winning Eurovision 2022.” “I will always find my way home even if all the roads are destroyed,” he adds, quoting some lyrics from the winning song.
Written and composed before the conflict, "Stefania" evokes in particular the sweetness of the lullabies that the author's mother sang to him when he was a child.
Reading the text has taken on added significance since the outbreak of the conflict.
Щирі вітання #KalushOrchestra on winning the #esc2022 Congratulations!
Ломаними дорогами прийду я завжди до тебе
Wishing that next year's #Eurovision can be hosted in Kyiv in a free and united Ukraine.
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) May 14, 2022
Finally, Charles Michel hopes that the next edition of Eurovision will be able to take place in the city of kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, which he wishes to be “free”, in a “united Ukraine”.