Political guide to watching the Eurovision Grand Final

Political guide to watching the Eurovision Grand Final
Political guide to watching the Eurovision Grand Final

From rural areas to climate change: There is more EU politics in this year’s Eurovision nominations than in ‘Europapa’.

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“We love music. That’s all I can say,” said a Commission spokesperson trying to dodge a question earlier this week about whether the EU Executive has a personal favorite for the final.

Although the Commission has not commented, the songs in the contest – which last year were seen by more than 162 million viewers – seem to lean more and more towards Brusselsand some even make more or less explicit reference to the EU.

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This is clearly the case of ‘Europepa’, by the dutch singer Joost Kleina obviously pro-European song which has already won the hearts of many EU enthusiasts.

In his ode to European integration, Klein praise the freedom of movement which allows you to visit your friend in France or take a long walk to Vienna without a passport.

But there is much more to EU policies than this reference to the Schengen area in this year’s Eurovision. Here are the interpretations of the ‘Euronews’ team dedicated to EU policies on the songs that will be heard on Saturday.

The EU rural strategy

Since the beginning of the Eurovision week, the Croatian song ‘Rim Tim Tagi Dim’, of Baby Lasagnais the favorite of the bookmakers, who predict an easy victory for him in the grand final.

Despite its danceable melody, the song’s lyrics tell the sad story of a young man forced to leave his home in a rural community to seek fortune in the city.

“I’m old now, I’m leaving and selling my cow,” sings Baby the Croat, who comes from a remote coastal area.

He rural depopulation phenomenon It is a recurring theme for the Commission, which tried to tackle and reverse it in 2021 by launching its long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas, which proposed a rural pact and a rural action plan.

In the presentation of the rural action plan, the vice-president of the Commission, also Croatian Dubravka Šuica, said that “rural areas are often forgotten, but they are the beating heart of our societies.”

Tough on drugs, soft on alcohol: EU policy on risk factors

The song of Estonia has already been dubbed by its followers “The drug song”: its content lists some of the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), for which the EU has a specific strategy.

In some of the verses, the Estonians 5MIINUUST x Puuluup seem to be on a similar line to that of the European institutions: strongly condemn drug usewhile sounding a little more emollient on the alcohol consumption: “I don’t know drugs, I know soda and cider/ I couldn’t tell the difference between vitamin and speed.”

“We avoid drugs just because we’re not rich/In the back room of our farm there’s only IPA (isopropyl alcohol) on the table,” the song continues.

The World Organization (WHO) has criticized the EU for its laxity on alcohol, and Estonia’s entry does not appear to be helping the cause.

Mental health

Mental health is another important topic in music and EU politics.

“Don’t look now / Or you’ll see me cry rivers might drown me” and “I don’t want to get lost so cruelly I drift in and out of who I am” are just some of the many references Latvian singer Dons makes to mental health problems like depression in his song Hollow.

The lyrics present a deep emotional insight into his insecurities, inner demons and feelings. Another bookie favorite, Italian Angelina Mango, laments a tedium that she recalls in the time of COVID: “I die without dying / In these worn-out days / I live without suffering / There is no bigger cross.”

It is estimated that around 84 million people in the EU suffered from mental health problems before the COVID pandemicand that almost half of the block’s population had experienced psychosocial problems.

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Although talking about mental health has been taboo for many years, EU strategy It aims to normalize the conversation about these problems and stop it being one of the so-called “silent pandemics.”

Climate change and ocean policy

Eurovision is held this year in Sweden, homeland of the climate activist Greta Thunberg. In his most famous speech in Davos, at the 2019 World Economic Forum, he used a powerful analogy to describe the climate crisis saying that “our house is burning.”

We can see glimpses of this metaphor in ‘Firefighter’, the entry from Georgia this year sung by Nutsa Buzaldze. “The roof is falling in, the windows are burning, it’s getting harder to breathe,” the lyrics say, inviting the firefighter of the title to “put out the fire.”

The bloc’s environmental policies also seem to strike a chord with the actions of Franceas Slimane promises to create “an ocean in fire.”

Although it is apparently about the pain of unrequited love – a Eurovision classic – is it a statement about the impact of rising global temperatures on marine life?

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If there is any relationship between the French singer-songwriter and the staff of the European Commission’s oceans department, DG MARE, we do not know.

 
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