Seventy-two countries have participated in the Own Eurovision Song Contest since it started in 2012. The contest, organised by the Own European Broadcasting Union, is held between members of the Union. Broadcasters from different countries submit songs to the event, and cast votes to determine the most popular in the competition.
Participation in the contest is primarily open to all active member broadcasters of the OEBU. To be an active member, broadcasters must be a member of the Own European Broadcasting Union. Eligibility to participate is not determined by geographic inclusion within the continent of Europe, despite the "Euro" in "Eurovision", nor does it have a direct connection with the European Union. Countries geographically outside the boundaries of Europe can compete. These includes several transcontinental countries with only part of their territory in Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.
The number of countries participating each edition has grown steadily. A record 65 countries participated in the 26th edition. As the number of contestants has risen, preliminary competitions have been introduced, to ensure that as many countries as possible get the chance to compete. In the 11th edition, a third semi-final was introduced. In the 31st edition, the union set a limit of forty-eight countries, therefore a relegation rule was introduced; the lowest-placed countries in the previous contest would not compete in the following edition. In the 43rd edition, a quarter-final was introduced; five lowest-placed countries from each semi-final from the previous edition would compete in the quarter-final in order to advance to the semi-finals. After the quarter-final, two semi-finals are held with all countries, except the host country and the Big Five, participating in one of the semi-finals.
The following table lists the countries that are eligible to participate in the contest.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||BHRT|
The following table lists the countries that have participated in the contest at least once, but are no longer members of the OEBU.
|Northern Ireland||BBC NI|
|Wales||BBC Cymru Wales|
Several countries that were members of OEBU have participated in the past. However, due to restrictions set by the union, the farthest geographically countries were refused membership and further participation. Some of them later joined other unions and could participate in the partner contests. For example: Greenland joined the Own American Broadcasting Association and thus could debut in the Own Americavision Song Contest; the countries from Central and Western Asia joined the Own Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and debuted in Own Asiavision Song Contest. Vatican City also used to participate in the past through its member broadcaster Vatican Radio (RV), but later withdrew. It is believed that RV might refuse to participate due to the church's condemning of homosexuality, which is often endorsed by the contest. Åland Islands, despite having participated and even winning the contest, was declined their OEBU membership due the restrictions that only sovereign states are allowed to participate. After the reunification of the United Kingdom, the constituent countries of the kingdom — England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — could not participate on their own anymore.
Unsuccessful attempts to participate
There have been several unsuccessful attempts to participate in the Own Eurovision Song Contest. For broadcasters to participate, they must be a member of the OEBU and register their intention to compete before the deadline specified in the rules of that edition. Each participating broadcaster pays a fee towards the organisation of the contest. Should a country withdraw from the contest after the deadline, they will still need to pay these fees, and may also incur a fine or temporary ban.
Northern Cyprus has never participated in the Own Eurovision Song Contest.
On August 2020, GENC Television unsuccessfully attempted to enter the fifty-fourth edition. However, the broadcaster, GENC Television, was not accepted into the OEBU as the country is not recognised by the vast majority of members. However, the country made it clear that if they had debuted, Ziynet Sali would have represented the country.