Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Eurovision’s historical and political significance in post-war Europe

A study on Eurovision helped to examine the major transnational themes that have defined contemporary European history.
Eurovision’s historical and political significance in post-war Europe
Eurovision remains the world’s largest popular music event and one of the most popular television programmes in Europe since it was established in 1956. Based on national entries, it can serve as a platform for which to examine how countries have perceived and branded themselves for a pan-European audience over the years. Voting results have been employed as measure of how different nations view one another.

As an EU-funded project, EUROVISION (Eurovision: A History of Europe through Popular Music) studied how Eurovision has affected and reflected cultural, economic, political and social change in post-war Europe. It focused on pertinent current issues including democracy, integration, nationalism, prosperity, sexuality, technology and war. Furthermore, it addressed how Eurovision has reflected changing ideas about the values that are considered integral to Europeanism.

The work involved tracing the origins of Eurovision. Research was based on academic studies, media reports and audiovisual recordings in various libraries in Vienna and other national libraries in Europe. It considered how Eurovision can be used to innovatively teach the history of post-war Europe. Eurovision was a product of the Cold War and was initiated by the European Broadcasting Union. The contest obtained new political significance in the 1990s as it was appropriated in the cultural diplomacy of East European states in order to express their aspirations for European integration. Since then, the contest has become a forum in which concepts of European values have been defined and challenged. Additionally the study addressed whether Eurovision has had an impact on political and social change and how minority rights have been highlighted.

Results show that Eurovision has always been considered as being important in cultural diplomacy. This can involve promoting national distinctiveness, highlighting political issues or affirming just how European the nations are. Research results were presented in a panel discussion as well as at a symposium. The results will be useful for media, embassies, tourist organisations and historians.

Related information


Eurovision, European history, popular music, cultural, economic, political and social change, post-war Europe, Cold War, European Broadcasting Union
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top