SWITZERLAND – Last week it was mentioned in RTK that during a meeting of the EBU president, Jean-Paul-Philippot with Mentor Shala, RTK’s Director General, the issue of the full membership in December was discussed. more precisely Mr Shala stated to RTK: “We had a meeting with EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot in which we discussed the General Assembly held at the end of this month, as well as the possibility of RTK becoming a fully fledged member of the EBU, thus ensuring participation in the European Eurovision Song Contest next year.”
Currently it seems that backstage Russia, Serbia and Greece are holding back any efforts of Kosovo to enter the EBU as full members. These three countries have made clear that they doo not wish the country. to bee recognised and enter the European Broadcasting Union. At some points (feed years ago), Russia said that they will VETO any effort of Kosovo entering the EBU in full support to their satellite nation, the Serbs.
The European Broadcasting Union answered to a fan site asking for a comment on the story: RTK currently does not meet the criteria for full EBU membership but it was agreed at the EBU General Assembly in Tirana (June 29) that constructive discussions will continue between the EBU and RTK about future possibilities for closer co-operation.
Therefore there seems to be no full membership voting for RTK this December and (along with no intention to invitee Kosovo as special guest participant via the Reference Group) it is definitely out off the picture, the idea of seeing Kosovo debuting in Israel, next May. The only thing that is true is that EBU in constructive discussions with all peripheral broadcasters in the region.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN TIRANA?
Over 60 representatives of public service media, international organisations, politicians and regulators have met in Tirana to discuss the best ways to help and support public service media in the Western Balkans. Partners of the EU-funded ‘Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans’ project came together to officially launch the project. The meeting follows six-months of intensive work to outline the scope of the project and the areas for co-operation and focus.
Managers of the six national public service media organisations that will benefit from the project – RTVSH (Albania), BHRT (Bosnia & Herzegovina), RTK (Kosovo), MKRTV (FYR Macedonia), RTCG (Montenegro) and Radiotelevizija Srbije (Serbia) – signed a memorandum of understanding that paves the way for their cooperation. All were agreed on the importance of independent, sustainable public service media to secure democracy and support civil society.
Launching the project, EBU Director General Noel Curran said: “It is more important than ever to protect the editorial and institutional independence of public service media. “As a community, we can make a positive impact on media and, by association, democracy throughout the Western Balkans.”
The project is a collaboration between the European Federation of Journalists, Austrian public broadcaster ORF, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Office of the Eurovision News Exchange for South-East Europe. It aims to strengthen the independence, accountability and programming output of public service broadcasters in the Western Balkans. The EBU will be the lead partner in exploring optimal funding models for public service media, management reforms, audience research and the role of governance and supervisory councils. It is an opportunity for all to learn from the experience of fellow EBU Members throughout the continent.
Speaking at the meeting, EBU Head of Member Relations, CEE, Radka Bethcheva said: “Independence is of utmost importance for the proper functioning of public service media. “This project could help to improve the legal frameworks and their implementation, especially in regards to ensuring greater independence of supervisory councils’ members and increasing their professionalization.” The 1.5 million EUR project will run for the next two years.