Decade introduction 2000 – 2009: The new millennium saw a continuous rise in the popularity of the Eurovision Song Contest all over Europe, leading to various changes. With Latvia and Ukraine joining the competition in 2000 and 2003 respectively, and with Belarus, Serbia & Montenegro, Albania and Andorra on the waiting list, the relegation system was already overstretched. Therefore, for the first time in its history, a televised SemiFinal was introduced in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest.
While the unification of Europe took its crucial steps in the 1990s, its impact on the Eurovision Song Contest only started to show after 2000 with new members entering the contest.
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