Eurovision 2017 mass resignations blamed on lack of transparency

Kyiv will host the Eurovision song contest 2017 in May. Photo: UNIAN

Kyiv will host the Eurovision song contest 2017 in May. Photo: UNIAN 

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Several organizers of the Ukrainian Eurovision 2017 team quit the show, causing a scandal. In an open letter, the team responsible for the organization of the events during the show cited the lack of transparency and delays in the tender processes as the reasons for such a decision. The letter was published by Denys Bloschynskyi, one of the organizers, and signed by 21 members of the Ukrainian Eurovision team.

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The resignation letter signed by 21 members of the Ukrainian Eurovision team Source: Denys Bloschynskyi’s Facebook account

It states that since June 2016 the team implemented a large part of the needed organizational, legal, and informational work. However, in December 2016, after it was confirmed that the contest will be held in Kyiv and the project was appointed a new leadership, progress came to a halt.

Denys Bloschynskyi, the resigned event manager of the Eurovision-2017. Photo: gurt.org.ua

Denys Bloschynskyi, the resigned event manager of the Eurovision-2017 and the organizer of several volunteer projects in Ukraine, including those aimed to help people who suffered the war in Donbas, explained to Euromaidan Press:

“It’s about dividing the powers among executive producers – Pavlo Grytsak [Deputy Director General of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine] and Viktoria Romanova. Respectively, the executive producers controlled the functions of our directions of work.”

In a conversation with Ukrainian media, Grytsak said that so far he has not received any official statements on resignation; there were only the publications in social media.

However, as Bloschynskyi told, the team had not signed any contract in 2017, so they weren’t working officially on Eurovision anyway. According to him, about 30 people are leaving. Among them are representatives of the departments of commerce, security, events, delegations, logistics, Euro Village and catering.

The resigned team was not satisfied with new conditions suggested by the new leadership and considered them to be harmful for the organization of the contest:

“The new management structure of the Contest which was introduced to us, intrasparency in making decisions about the main directions of work on the Contest, failing to carry out legal obligations to the specialists working on the Contest, failing to hold the tenders on time – in our opinion, all of this prevents [us] from preparing with best quality and in a timely manner to hold the Contest in Ukraine,” says the letter.

The schedule for holding the tenders is approved by the European Broadcasting Union. Bloschynskyi says that the dates were postponed 8 times:

“In my opinion, we should have announced tenders at the end of December. We could have announced about 10 tenders from my direction of work then, and about 20-30 tenders at the end of January. As of February 14, none of the tenders which involved my direction were announced. And they won’t be announced anytime soon. I think this is wrong.”

Bloschynskyi says that Grytsak did not try to communicate with his team, to their disappointment. A few meetings where the team tried to explain their position were held; however, the new leadership ignored the proposals.

Grytsak said that they would be looking to hire a new staff and soon will post vacancies and that they would ask the old team to advise.

Bloschynskyi confirmed that the resigned team is ready to assist the replaced personnel if necessary.

The Deputy Prime Minister Viacheslav Kyrylenko stated that any changes in personnel will not influence the quality of hosting the Eurovision 2017. According to Kyrylenko, the government allocated UAH 455 mn ($16.8 mn) from the state budget to sponsor the contest. Another UAH 200 mn ($ 7.4 mn) was allocated from the Kyiv budget.

The Eurovision song contest 2017 will be held in Kyiv in May. The final is scheduled for 13 May 2017.

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  • Evelyn Myketa Livingston

    So here we have an opportunity for Ukraine to shine and instead we have chaos ..

  • Alex George

    Great to see. Ukrainians no longer meekly accept corruption in public life (unlike in other post-soviet states, particularly Russia).

    If Poroshenko’s government wants Eurovision to go ahead (which they clearly do) then they will have to step in, investigate the issues and mediate the complaints of the people involved. In the process, we should see yet another area of entrenched corruption in Ukrainain public life cleaned out.

    • Mick Servian

      Dude. You live in your own fairyland.
      Ukraine IS one of the most corrupt countries in the world. That’s how you lost everything you got left over from the USSR.
      Im sorry but it’s a pretty big fact.