As the Eurovision season opened on the 1st of September and many broadcasters have already issued their calls for songs to send to Malmö, this is what we know so far about the preparations taking place around Europe for the 2013 song contest.

So far, twenty-six countries have confirmed their participation and with withdrawals, returns and even debuts rumoured it is still expected that over forty countries will be present on the Malmö stage. Armenia have been confirmed as the first "returning" country after missing the Baku contest. Will they be joined by other nations who have missed previous editions?

The hosts, Sweden, are sticking with Melodifestivalen, the successful format that sent Loreen to victory in 2012. The first performer has already been selected and announced. Terese Fredenwall recently won the P4 radio competition Svensktoppen Nästa at Liseberg, the prize being a coveted slot at next years Melodifestivalen. Terese will fight along with thirty-one other artists to represent Sweden on home soil next May.

As in the previous two years, Switzerland will be the first country to broadcast their national final. The selection method that resulted in Anna Rossinelli making the Eurovision final and SinPlus just missing out, Die Grosse Entsheidungs Show, will take place in Kreuzlingen on the 15th of December. There will be an online selection process as with previous years to form the final line-up and the Swiss public will decide which of those finalists to send to Eurovision.

The Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA) have announced a new final format for selecting Israel's entry which will consist of four shows and bares some resemblance to Sweden's Melodifestivalen. Thirty artists will compete for ten spots at the grand final. This new and ambitious project will be Israel's largest selection format ever and will no doubt celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the country's debut in 1973.

Finland are again using the UMK (Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu) selection process for 2013. After Pernilla Karlsson's failure to qualify to the final in Baku, the Finns are hoping to improve their placing next year. YLE are accepting demos for the competition and the deadline for submissions is the 16th of October 2012. The final of UMK will take place on the 9th of February 2013 in Espoo.

Albania will try to build upon Rona Nishliu's top five result next year. The submissions sent to RTSH will be whittled down in October to form the line-up for Festivali i Këngës, which has been used to select the Albanian entry since they joined the contest.

More countries are expected to announced their participation at next years event over the coming weeks and months as the 2013 season begins in earnest. will bring you all the news and developments regarding the selection processes taking place around Europe.

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