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The Netherlands was one of the seven countries competing in the very first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. It has missed only four contests so far. The preselection process is done through the Nationaal Songfestival with the winner qualifying to represent the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Netherlands has missed only four contests in its Eurovision history. The first of these was at the 1985 contest, held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The contest, held on 4 May conflicted with the Dutch Remembrance of the Dead and as such the Netherlands withdrew.

In 1991 the contest was again held on 4 May, and so the Netherlands withdrew for the same reasons as in 1985.

The 1995 and 2002 contest were also missed, as a result of the country's poor showings in the previous year.