Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group is the executive Expert Committee for all Members, its purpose being to control and guide the Eurovision Song Contest. The Reference Group was established by the European Broadcasting Union's Television Committee in 1998 and its main tasks are approving the development and future format of the Eurovision Song Contest, securing the financing, modernising the brand and raising awareness and overseeing the yearly preparation by the Host Broadcaster.

The Reference Group meets four to five times each year on behalf of all Participating Broadcasters, and is required to take decisions in the general interest of the Eurovision Song Contest. The Reference Group is composed of a Chairman, three elected members of the Entertainment Experts Group of the EBU, two Executive Producers from previous host countries, as well as the Executive Producer of the current Host Broadcaster and the EBU Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor.

Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling

Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling from Germany is the Chairman of the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest. He's been in the field of media since 1987 when he started as a freelance journalist for the prestigious Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The last years he's been involved with international relations in the German broadcaster ZDF, being the Director of International Affairs since 2000. ZDF is not a participating broadcaster of the Eurovision Song Contest in Germany (ARD/NDR is) but that was considered as an advantage to have a neutral Chairman when electing him in 2009.

Jon Ola Sand

The Norwegian Jon Ola Sand is the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest. He has more than 15 years' experience in major productions and co-productions at Norwegian public broadcaster NRK and TV2 Norway as well as independent production companies.

He is also a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which hands out the EMMY Awards every year. He has produced or directed a variety of programmes, such as the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, the Norwegian Film Awards and the Norwegian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, Melodi Grand Prix.

The Executive Supervisor of Europe's favourite TV show has been Head of Delegation at the contest for Norway from 1998 to 2005. Since then, he has been commissioning editor at NRK. He was also the Executive Producer of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo

Sand leads the team of Project Managers who are dealing with other productions at the EBU Television Department as well.

Bruno Berberes

Bruno Berberes is a French entertainment professional, having more than ten years of Eurovision Song Contest experience. He works at the French broadcaster France 3 and also is one of the most known and respected casting directors in the country.

Christer Björkman

Christer Björkman is one of Sweden's foremost pop experts. He's been a singer and represented Sweden in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest. Björkman is the man behind the very successful Swedish Melodifestivalen, their national selection for Europe's favourite TV-show. He's also a TV-presenter.

Dejan Kukric

Dejan Kukric is the Head of Entertainment and Music Department at BHRT, the public broadcaster of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has studied in the Academy of Arts Deptartment for Television and Film at the University of Banja Luka.

Thomas Schreiber

Thomas Schreiber was the Executive Producer of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. He's responsible for the TV-production side of the Contest.

Maarten Verhaeghen

Maarten Verhaeghen is a well-known TV-producer in Belgium with over 5 years of experience in their public broadcaster, VRT. He's studied in the Erasmushogeschool Brussel, at the school for audio-visual and performing arts of Rits Brussels.