Bosnia & Herzegovina’s first ever Eurovision representative, Fazla, is working on bringing his country back to the contest in 2024.
Bosnia hasn’t competed in Eurovision since 2016 when Dalal and Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala performed the song Ljubav je.
But speaking exclusively to The Euro Trip, Bosnia’s 1993 representative, Fazla, said political barriers need to be overcome before his country returns.
“I am strongly working on it,” he said.
“The problem we have right now in our government at a national level [is that] we have two political parties, Croatian Democratic Union and Serbian National Social Democrats, who are refusing to finance anything that carries the name of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
“They are two secessionist parties and unfortunately for the last four years we have not been able to raise the funds through the regular means, through national television, to go and compete.”
Bosnian broadcaster BHRT has outstanding debts that it owes to the EBU and will need to pay these off before it returns to Eurovision.
BHRT is under EBU sanctions as a result of its debts and can’t compete in any of the Eurovision-branded competitions.
Fazla, who now works in politics as Senior Adviser to the Minister of Defence for the Democratic Front–Civic Alliance, said it’s important for his country to be on a stage where viewers across the world can see it.
“If you’re not there in the perception of the regular people, you don’t exist. So we want to show again that we do exist.”
Pushed on how soon Bosnia could be competing in Eurovision again, he said: “If not 2023, 2024 for sure if we [Democratic Front–Civic Alliance] become part of the national government.
“If my party became part of that national government, that is one of the issues I’m going to be strongly working on: making sure Bosnia is back part of Eurovision.”
Fazla fled war in his homeland to represent Bosnia in 1993 with his song Sva bol svijeta when the contest was held in Ireland.
Bosnia has participated in Eurovision 18 times, with a best result of third in 2006 courtesy of Hari Mata Hari and their song Lejla.
Image – EBU