"Undoubtedly, the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in [Kiev] saw a number of undesirable incidents, many of which almost saw the potential movement of the event outside the host country of Ukraine," the EBU said. "The most unpleasant issue that occurred in this year's Eurovision was the ban of the Russian representative from entering the host country by the Ukrainian authorities."
There was no room for politics in the Eurovision contest, the EBU stressed, adding: "Neither selected artist nor any member of the delegation shall have any antecedents likely to prompt the host country's national authorities to deny them access to the host country, in accordance with applicable national law."
The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event, it stated: "That means that any form of political propaganda during the event or any political content included in the songs are prohibited."
Last year's Ukrainian entry Susana Jamaladinova's song "1944" was criticized for lyrics that were allegedly anti-Russian as it referred, obliquely, to wartime deportation of ethnic Tatars from Crimea ordered by Stalin. The EBU cleared the song, allowing Jamala to perform in the contest, which she went on to win.
The new rules, which significantly tighten up on political and organizational regulations, are designed to prevent future controversies.
Apart from banning any political references in songs, host broadcasters must ensure no commercial, brand, product or service promotion occurs during the event.
National juries must be strictly independent, with no relation to the artists or songs that "could affect the final outcome." Juries must not reveal in advance their preferences or voting intentions.
Better time-tabling must become a feature of future Eurovision contests, the EBU also said. "Following this year's incidents ... the EBU is set to be more strict when it comes to the host broadcaster and their compliance with the agreed timetables, to ensure the proper flow with the preparations and the hosting of the competition."
Failure to adhere to timetables could mean the broadcast rights being handed to another company, the EBU added.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.