Will Kosovo finally get an invitation to participate at Eurovision? We could know later this year. After years of theories, rising hopes and at least one instance of overconfidence, Kosovo broadcaster RTK reports that they have been in discussions with the European Broadcasting Union.

Mentor Shala, director general of RTK, represented the broadcaster and met with Jean-Paul Philippot, the director general of the EBU, during which they discussed further co-operation between the two bodies and the possibility of extending full membership for Kosovo in the EBU.

Early reports suggested that Kosovo’s membership would be decided by a vote held by the EBU’s General Assembly. However, a fansite contacted the EBU and asked for clarification on the proposed vote. The EBU responded:

“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.”

RTK is currently not eligible for full EBU membership as Kosovo is not a member of the International Telecommunications Union.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. However, its status is still disputed internationally and in diplomatic practice. Extreme tensions — political and territorial — exist between the Serbian government and the Albanian leadership of the Assembly of Kosovo. One manifestation of these tensions was the Kosovo War, which lasted from the end of 1998 until the middle of 1999.

A number of states whose broadcasters are EBU members do not recognise Kosovo as an independent country. As well as Serbia, this includes Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Since Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, its broadcaster has made it a goal to become part of the EBU and join the Eurovision family. Although it doesn’t have those rights, it did manage to participate in Eurovision Young Dancers in 2011.

The EBU’s response suggests that while full membership of the EBU is still off limits for RTK, it may be possible for them to be involved in some aspects of the EBU’s member services. And as fans are speculating, this could mean participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Kosovars have competed in the competition before, albeit for other countries. Recent examples include Rona Nishliu for Albania in 2012, Lindita Halimi for Albania in 2017 and Kosovo-born Serbian singer Nevena Božović as part of Moje 3 for Serbia in 2013.

What do you think? Should RTK be allowed to compete at Eurovision? Who would you like to see sing for Kosovo? Share your thoughts below!

Read more Kosovo Eurovision news here

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Europe
Guest
Europe

Its a country…let them in!!
Kosovo welcome to Eurovision

Matt
Guest
Matt

The Public Broadcasting Service of Kosovo does have an observer status at the EBU which enables them to broadcast the contest since 1999 and to also participate in all EBU contests other than ESC which requires an ITU membership. Kosovo will debut unilaterally anyway and EU welcomes it. Cheers!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Most countries have regular relations with Kosovo (or at least, have no problem with it). The remaining ones (Serbia, Bosnia & H, Russia, Belarus and Armenia) will never accept Kosovo as a country. So waiting is meaningless, it has been 10 yrs already.

Lev
Guest
Lev

80% of the UN member states have cordial relations with Israel and Kosovo, not just “regular ones”. My country is not recognized by 31 others and yet it is WHO IT IS, so Kosovo is literally the second Israel. There is no worry for our countries. We are that we are! Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh!

Hoedette
Guest
Hoedette

*Banging on table* LET!! THEM!! IN!! ??????????

Paulo
Guest
Paulo

Sounds promising but even if doesn’t happen in 2019, it will surely actualize in 2020. That’s just a logical truth though it didn’t have to take so long but Kosovo’s patience will pay off in the end. All the best from Portugal who won the Eurovision after a 54-year wait!

Cuceta
Guest
Cuceta

Long live Kosovo!

T.J.
Guest
T.J.

Another “non”-news, that is again hyped. The title suggests something that has no basis at all in the statement of the EBU.

T.J.
Guest
T.J.

I was referring to the first part of the title, duuuuh!

Cornelia
Guest
Cornelia

Love Rona! My team and I have visited Kosovo back in 2014 and we truly miss that beautiful country, those amazing people, their language (which has a Romance feel but every word ends with German suffixes), their evening cinema culture and their cozy jazz bars in which great artists performed. That nation has so much more to offer to the world…

Clemens
Guest
Clemens

Unjustly delayed though Kosovo has never been desperate to join Eurovision. They are capable of launching international popstars through their own labels and without even moving their artists to L.A., so I doubt that Eurovision would be of any particular use to them. If they join it, they’ll do it more for “the EU’s sake” than for any musical, promotional, diplomatic or national benefits. Notwithstanding this fact, EU would appreciate and does support Kosovo’s participation.

Ern
Guest
Ern

I think the Faroe Islands also wanted to join the EBU independent of Denmark. After all, they enjoy much more autonomy than Scotland does in the UK or Catalonia in Spain.

Personally, I think both Kosovo and the Faroe Islands should enter independently. Thus, even if we take the position that Kosovo is still part of Serbia, it can still participate in Eurovision as its own entity.

Realistically, however, I can’t imagine the Kosovo broadcaster is rolling in money, thus I don’t see them being able to sustain a membership in the EBU without problems.

Johannes
Guest
Johannes

Faroe Islands are a constituent part of the Kingdom of Denmark, whereas Kosovo is an independent country. Its only relation to Serbia is the geographical border – they are just neighbours – but certain individuals here clearly do not comprehend the difference due to their lack of education and legal awareness. Also, Kosovo’s PBS enjoys huge grants from EBU since 2001, therefore funding would never constitute an issue for them, contrary to Serbia’s wish.

Adam
Guest
Adam

I am from Faroe Islands and I can confirm that we here highly support Faroese movement to independence, I hope my country will finally debut in Eurovision like Kosovo

Thanos B
Guest
Thanos B

Greece salutes Kosovo’s debut. Although we have not formally recognized it yet (will happen soon) we have maintained great relations with Kosovo since 2008 and have supported their membership in every major organization. Albania will have its little brother around, just like Greece has Cyprus. Congratulations whenever it happens!

Panos
Guest
Panos

That’s a medieval mindset, mate. Over 80% of Greeks and Albanians don’t have a problem with each other anymore. We have been neighbours since antiquity and today we are close friends. Albania supports Greece & Cyprus and Greece supports Albania & Kosovo. Your attempt is malicious and won’t have any effect whatsoever.

Johannes
Guest
Johannes

See what I mean, dear fellow Western Europeans? Thanks for proving my point, EscTroll.

Katy
Guest
Katy

EBU/ESC countries that do not recognise Kosovo: Serbia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine. How does RTK expect to get an invite to ESC?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

“does not recognize” doesn’t necessarily mean they have problems with Kosovo.
Also, Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus as an independent country, but both participate at ESC.

Romeo
Guest
Romeo

And… Cyprus participated in the 2004 contest in Turkey

Danny
Guest
Danny

There are many EBU member countries that do not recognize each other as states and yet they do/have participated in Eurovision. Cases: Armenia-Azerbaijan, Turkey-Cyprus, Israel-Lebanon-Morocco, Russia-Ukraine (over Crimea) and Russia-Georgia (over Abkhazia and South Ossetia). Just because one country does not have diplomatic relations with another, that does not dispute their UN status. International Law does not require states to recognize each other.

T.J.
Guest
T.J.

No, it is not. Australia was invited by Austria, Sweden, Ukraine and Portugal. None of them being member of the “Big Five”.

Kim
Guest
Kim

will this mean Italy will no longer receive their annual 12 points from the Albanian jury?

kela
Guest
kela

Nahh Italy still will get them.

Julia
Guest
Julia

Finally some exciting news. With their superior music industry that is the envy of Europe, Kosovo will soon become a grande favourite and will also reform this kitschy contest. While they don’t really need Eurovision to promote their music or anything else, they should do it so others could take advice from them.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Except nobody knows Kosovo in the world of music. When I say this, I mean, they don’t see Rita Ora or Dua Lipa as Kosovars, but British. The same with Bebe Rexha, she isn’t Albanian or Kosovar to the consumers, she’s just American. Kosovo musicians usually need to get to or be born in a different country to have a chance to enter the music business.

RICK
Guest

Hope this happens! Although Armenia dosent officially recognise Kosovo, we hope they participate imagine if they sent artists like era istefi with ‘origami’ they would bring so much quality, i am so here for this.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Despite the lack of recognition, Serbia and Bosnia seem to be the only Eurovision countries to not actually want Kosovo there.

gimm
Guest
gimm

Yes definetely.we would love to see Kosovo participating in eurovision.why not ? Kosovo is a country and should let them participate

Ivan
Guest
Ivan

Croatia wants Kosovo on ESC. Welcome!

Davve
Guest
Davve

If it became true I would support it.

BB87
Guest
BB87

Every year same story. Kosovo will not be in Eurovision 2019, same story for Kazahstan…

Alex
Guest
Alex

I think Kosovo should debut in Israel despite the fact that they are not fully recognized (Israel doesn’t recognize them). They entered the Rio 2016 Olyimpics, Peyongchang 2018 Winter Olympics and Eurovision Young Dancers 2011.

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

They also entered the 2018 FIFA World Cup UEFA’s qualification.

beccaboo1212
Guest

3 in 1: Today is American Independence Day, Polina Bogusevich’s birthday, and the last day to apply for Malta’s version of the X Factor. 😮

Elit
Guest
Elit

Hey guys im from Kosovo , we are indepedent right now . What is the problem , we have so much good singers and we deserve to be part of esc next year . We are so ready to start the competcion , greating from Kosovo ?

Thiago
Guest
Thiago

Woohoo 12 points to Albania every year and vice-versa! This will be an even stronger bond than Cyprus-Greece! Just what we need more of!

Darren
Guest
Darren

As much as I’d love to see Kosovo take part in Eurovision, I don’t thinking it will happen yet. Their status is disputed by two/three participating countries who obviously won’t take Kosovo participation well. The whole International Telecommunications Union would be a problem for them too and budget constraints could also limit their participation. I would rather see them debut when they can afford to participate regularly, rather than a half thought out debut, followed by a withdrawal for years over financial difficulties. However the issue of Kosovo taking part has come up every single year since they got independence… Read more »

romanian
Guest
romanian

Romania doesn’t recognize Kosovo, but what is the problem? Kosovo must be in ESC, inclusion is the word, don’t worry, nobody will withdraw, not even Serbia after 2018 qualification. Forget the haters, i hate the haters, every winner has a better life and a bigger pocket after ESC, it is the biggest non-sport event on the planet for a reason.

HarpyDarper
Guest
HarpyDarper

Rita Ora was born in Kosovo and she tried out for the UK in 2009 (back when she was unknown)

James
Guest
James

To further add: Kosovo had dabbled in an EBU event in the not so distant past as they have been invited to take part in Eurovision Young Dancers back in 2011. Thus, an arrangement can be made if Eurovision participation is concerned and if that is the intention of the Kosovar broadcaster.

However, if the intention is more about the additional benefits that comes with membership such as being able to acquire syndicated programming content, etc. then that is a a whole topic in itself.

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

israel’s broadcaster isn’t even in the ebu, let kosovo have a go

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation has interim membership of the EBU. 🙂

Source: https://www.ebu.ch/about/members