Kosovo: Will RTK join the EBU and debut in Eurovision?

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,405 views

There has been much talk and speculation about Kosovo’s potential EBU membership and Eurovision debut. Following media reports citing an alleged meeting between the Kosovan national broadcaster and the EBU, ESCToday decided to investigate further and contacted the EBU in order shed more light on the issue.

RTK,  the Kosovan national broadcaster, is quite keen to partake in the Eurovision Song Contest but it does not meet the requirements to become an active EBU Member.

Kosovo is not a member of the ITU (International Television Union), one of the key requirements to become an active EBU member. Thus RTK is not an EBU member and is currently ineligible to join the contest. The country is neither a member of the United Nations or the Council of Europe. The Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast live in the Balkan country in recent years.

Last June the 80th General Assembly of the EBU was held in the Albanian capital Tirana. RTK’s officials attended the event and had a meeting with the EBU in order to discuss Kosovo’s membership.

The EBU’s statement regarding Kosovo

In the wake of the latest developments ESCToday contacted the EBU in order to shed more light on this matter and enlighten our readers with Kosovo’s current status in relation to its potential EBU membership and eventual Eurovision participation.

The EBU gave ESCToday the following statement:

In regards to Kosovo, RTK currently does not meet the criteria for full EBU membership but it was agreed at the EBU General Assembly in Tirana that constructive discussions will continue between the EBU and RTK about future possibilities for closer co-operation.

Kosovo currently does not comply with the rules and regulations of the EBU in order to become a full member, it will be interesting to see how further discussions between RTK and EBU develop in the near future.

Last year the EBU gave ESCToday the following statement regarding Kosovo’s Eurovision participation:

Kosovo cannot take part in the Eurovision Song Contest because they are neither an EBU Member or Associate. The statutes of the EBU say that a Member must come from a country that is a Member of the International Telecommunications Union or is a Member of the Council of Europe. Kosovo is in neither. The EBU helped set up Kosovo’s public service broadcaster RTK in 1999 and it continues to work closely with RTK to protect public service media in Kosovo. The ESC Reference Group is however mandated to make exception to the Rules on a case by case basis.

The EBU will publish the compelete list of the 2019 ESC participating countries by the end of the year. The dates and host city of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest are yet to be unveiled, with an official announcement expected by September.

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