NORWAY -The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has rejected Kosovo’s application for membership, the Serbian state TV said on Friday. Kosovo’s application was voted in the 82nd General Assembly of the EBU — which was held in Oslo, Norway, from Tuesday to Friday.
A total of 673 members voted against the participation of Kosovo in the media organization, while 400 voted in favor, the Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) said. The process lasted more than a year since it was initiated by public broadcasters from Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, North Macedonia and Hungary.
Milivoje Mihajlovic, assistant director of RTS, said that Hungary withdrew its signature but the request was still debated and voted.
“The EBU members accepted the RTS argument that this is a political step and a political precedent which would harm peace in the region and the determination of the EBU to be a professional and not a political organization,” said Mihajlovic.
The rejection of Kosovo’s bid to join the EBU also prevents its participation in the Eurovision song contest.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade insists the country remains part of Serbia. Since then, tensions have persisted between Kosovo’s ethnic-Albanian majority and a small Serb minority in the north.
Kosovo’s independence is recognized by over 100 countries, including the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Turkey. Serbia, Russia, and China are among the countries which have not yet recognized its independence.