KOSOVO – Stunned the Kosovo state broadcaster got the final reply of the European Broadcasting Union saying that the newly created state cannot participate in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. RTK representatives are furious with the EBU answer this year because they were promised to participate in 2018 if the host country had been one of those recognising the independence of their country, something that couldn’t happen last year as Ukraine has not recognised Kosovo as an independent state.
RTK received an EBU letter saying that despite what promised last year, the country cannot participate in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest because the country is not a member of the United Nations.
RTK’s representative said: This is an absurd reason when we consider that Kosovo is admitted to all Federations and other world organizations such as UEFA, FIFA, FIBA, WB, Olimpic Games, IMF, ABU, etc etc. We know that Kosovo can not be accepted as a full member of the EBU without being a member of the UN and we did not ask for such a thing. We just wanted to sing at ESC!
EBU on the other hand responded: 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.
Somehow the entire situation shows maybe some Serbian and mostly Russian influence on the decision (some of our sources claim that’s the case although it cannot be verified) as EBU has accepted Kosovo’s participation in a Eurovision Family event before.Kosovo has participated in the Eurovision Young Dancers once, since its debut in 2011. It remains Kosovo’s only participation at a Eurovision event. Weirdly now the country is not able to participate in the senior Eurovision Song Contest.
Kosovo is really upset but it’s also a situation where many Eurovision participating countries have not recognised the country and object in their participation in the contest.