While Kazakhstan is busy preparing for Junior Eurovision 2020, the eastern nation won’t be making its debut at Eurovision 2021. The European Broadcasting Union has again confirmed that it again has “no plans” to invite Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency to compete at in Rotterdam.

The same also applies to the Kosovo broadcaster RTK. In a brief statement to ESCXTRA, the EBU confirmed that neither country would be getting a special invitation. The EBU said: “At the present time, there are no plans to invite Kazakhstan or Kosovo to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.”

Like Australia’s SBS, Kazakhstan’s Khabar Agency is only an associate member of the EBU and so — in theory — the Eurovision Song Contest reference group could give them a guest invitation to participate in Rotterdam.

The news follows a similar statement made last year, where the EBU also said that it had “no plans to invite Kazakhstan to participate in next year’s competition.”

The EBU’s statement makes it clear that Kazakhstan’s participation at Junior Eurovision 2020 does not mean automatic participation at Eurovision 2021. While the ESC Reference Group could potentially invite Khabar Agency to compete in Eurovision 2021, their statement confirms this is not currently on the cards.

It has long been known that Kazakhstan has been keen to get involved with Eurovision. In 2017, broadcaster Channel 31 claimed that Kazakhstan would be sending a delegation to Lisbon and would be debuting at Eurovision 2019. However, this debut did not happen.

Still no go for Kosovo

The statement also means that we won’t see Kosovo make their Eurovision debut. But unlike Kazakhstan, Kosovo’s broadcaster RTK is neither an associate member nor a full member of the EBU.

RTK is currently unable to join the EBU as it is not a member of the International Telecommunication Union. And it can’t join the ITU as that union is only open to member states of the United Nations — and Kosovo is not currently a member state of the UN.

In June last year, the EBU General Assembly voted on a proposal that would have removed the requirement for broadcasters to be a member of the ITU. However, a majority did not support the proposal and Kosovo’s hopes were dashed.

Back in 2018, the EBU issued a statement saying that while RTK did not meet the criteria to join the EBU, “constructive discussions will continue between the EBU and RTK about future possibilities for closer co-operation.”

While Kosovo has not been able to compete at Eurovision, Kosovars have competed in the competition before, albeit for other countries. Examples include Rona Nishliu for Albania in 2012 and Lindita Halimi for Albania in 2017. Gjon’s Tears — who will represent Switzerland at Eurovision 2021 — has a Kosovo Albanian father.

What do you think? Would you like to see Kazakhstan and Kosovo compete at Eurovision? Which singers should represent those countries? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Kazakhstan Eurovision news here

Read more Kosovo Eurovision news here

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Iain
Iain
2 months ago

I’m upset with EBU for not accepting Kazakhstan. It meets all criteria and everybody wants it in. About Kosovo, thanks, but no thanks. EBU has said that they are open to have up to 45 countries. That means instead of having two place empty every year they should let two other guest countries to compete. First is Kazakhstan and second is UAE. Since United Arab Emirates has recognised Israel, EBU should invite them in. Since there are rumours that Marrocco is going to follow UAE with recognition of Israel that means it could come back to Eurovision. We should start… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Iain
Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Iain

You can’t be serious. Whatever about human rights, the UAE aren’t even associate members of the EBU. I won’t be signing your petition.

Iain
Iain
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Eurovision should be just about music. Arab world decided not to take part because of Israel but times are changing, but UAE is more progressive than others. EBU covers Arab peninsula and Northern Africa.

Last edited 2 months ago by Iain
Frisian esc
Frisian esc
2 months ago
Reply to  Iain

Not the whole arab peninsula. Only the western coastal area so that means Lebanon, israel, syria and jordania

Nobody Important
Nobody Important
2 months ago

I don’t understand what’s taking so long for EBU to finally accepts Kazakhstan into competition. They can into JESC but can’t into regular ESC? I don’t understand your logic EBU.

As for Kosovo. Absolutely not! Until the whole mess is solved, they should stay out of it. We don’t need any more politics in Eurovision then we already have!

vangelis vt
vangelis vt
2 months ago

The EBU should really concentrate on keeping in the ones that were planning to enter in 2020. I bet a lot of them will be tempted to withdraw bacause of the economic crisis and the corona situation.

Stevan
Stevan
2 months ago

The EBU should invite Kazakhstan already! The fans want it and it wouldn’t be a precedent as Australia has participated for 6 years already AND they have already been let into Junior Eurovision. As for Kosovo, no thanks. Once Kosovo meets the requirements to compete (get recognized by the UN), they can join. It being in other international contests is irrelevant to this as they do not follow the same rules as the ones on who can compete at Eurovision.

Andreu
Andreu
2 months ago

What annoys me is the fact that EBU said they are willing to invite the U.S if the American Song Contest goes well, but they have refused to invite Kazakhstan which has more claims to Europe. Ridiculous!

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
2 months ago

I do NOT understand why the EBU is so stubborn to invite Kazakhstan to ESC! They are super eager to participate in the contest and judging by their JESC efforts they would most likely bring a unique flavour to the contest. Look, Kosovo I completely understand, but there is honestly no viable reason to deny Kazakhstan entry into a show that’s supposed to “unite Europe”

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago

Do you really want to open up the contest to twenty more countries? This is what happens if associate members get the same rights as full members.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

There is no question of inviting 20 more countries. I would love to have Kazakhstan, it would bring something new to the contest, it’s good to have new countries because it’s not the same old, same old. Then there are countries that could, but refuse to participate – see Turkey and Hungary. The situation is quite depressing.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

There is a question of that – I’m asking it. There are 34 associate members, in twenty different countries. If Kazakhstan are allowed compete, does this mean the other nineteen are too? If not, that just means that Kazakhstan get the same special treatment that Australia get now.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I see what you mean. But I don’t think that all associate members want to be in ESC?

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I don’t know why seven (and counting) people downvoted a statement of fact.

Erasmus
Erasmus
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Well yeah, but Kazakhstan is actually partly in Europe and is in other European competitions as well! No other associate member can compare with that imo! That’s why I want them, if it was I don’t know China I wouldn’t be fond of it.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

It would be nice to have Kazakhstan in Eurovision, I am all for that. It’s located in Europe and Asia. Just like T-u-r-k-e-y.

Erasmus
Erasmus
2 months ago

The thing that bothers me the most is why Kazakhstan can literally be in all other European competitions (UEFA for example) but not in ESC. Like what’s holding them back? I also think they should be able to host should they win it, because they are also hosting other European competitions. About Kosovo it’s obvious since it is not recognized by a lot of countries in Eurovision, when that number goes below 5 I wouldn’t mind them, but for now, I kind of neutral on them. And also where to draw a line – who can and who can’t participate… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Associate members participating, maybe…but hosting? No.

Fionn
Fionn
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

If you win, you host. End of!

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Fionn

False.

The EBU and SBS have acknowledged that if Australia win, hosting is out of the question.

Erasmus
Erasmus
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

well I’d agree about Australia.. But if Kazakhstan can host competitions for UEFA, they can also do it for Eurovision – I mean you have to fly there two times (for a postcard and for the competition) ..

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Hm, that would mean the contest starting at about two o’clock in the morning…a bit unsuitable. Baku but worse. There it started at midnight – the first contest held on a Sunday!

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

You understand Australians have to watch Eurovision at literally 3 in the morning. Maybe y’all should have a taste of that for a year

Nikko
Nikko
2 months ago

Kosovo artists can still participate through Albania (like Lindita) or for Serbia (like Nevena Božovi?). As long as it is not recognized by all countries as a country, we should not invite them because it is too political.

But for Qazaqstan though, I don’t see any doubts not inviting them. They’re recognized as a country and it has more territory in Europe than Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel or Turkey.

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
2 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

“has more territory in Europe than Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel or Turkey.”

Would love to see what your map of Europe looks like. Kazakhstan is nowhere near Europe and significantly further east than all the countries you listed.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

Wise up. Part of it is in Europe. Nowhere near? Wrong.

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Kazakhstan is in Central Asia, the countries you listed were all mostly Western Asia

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

There is no issue of moral or political “judgement” on whether Kosovo is invited to participate or not.

T.J.
T.J.
2 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

Since the boundary between Europe and Asia are much less clear than with other continents, it has always been very much disputed where the actual border is to be seen. If you follow the scientific discussion, Kazakstan was for the longest time in history not even partly European. So – this is no valid argument. If you buy a CENTRAL Asian guide book (for instance LP), you’ll find Kazakstan in there. Show me ONE European guidebook where this is the case. It’s not about where some geographers draw the line, it’s a question how the country is perceived at the… Read more »

Preuss
Preuss
2 months ago

It’s already five years ago since Australia debuter, and they’ve been giving us some of the best performances. Judging by jESC, I think Kazakhstan would put a lot of effort in their entries. I don’t think I agree that they’ll be much like Russia or Azerbaijan taking their entries in junior ESC into consideration

Mitch
Mitch
2 months ago

Unfortunately for Kosovo they will probably never be a part of UN, as long as Russia & China holds a VETO for it. It’s also logical for them to not have the right to participate as 10+ countries from Europe doesn’t recognize it as an independent country, 6 of them being from European Union.

Stevan
Stevan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mitch

I believe the ITU doesn’t even require a UN membership, only a 2/3 recognition majority (aka UN recognition)

Last edited 2 months ago by Stevan
Joana
Joana
1 month ago
Reply to  Mitch

You have to make a line between countries which haven’t recognised Kosovo, because they don’t accept it as a state and countries which haven’t recognised it because of personal issues (Spain with Catalonia, Israel with Palestine, Armenia with Karabkh, Russia with Turkmenistan etc.) Greece hasn’t recognised the independence, but supports Kosovo internationally. Kosovo could join UEFA and FIFA and all countries (excl. Serbia and Bosnia) have to play against them, so Russia and China can’t be a big problem. Era Istrefi sung the anthem of the World Cup in Russia, so kosovan artists can also enter Russia if the ESC… Read more »

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
2 months ago

Kazakhstan would just be another Russia/Azerbaijan.

Istanbul is seen as the gateway between Europe and Asia. Kazakhstan is about 4,400 km further to the east of that. It borders China, are they European too?

KESC
KESC
2 months ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

Do Israel or Armenia have any borders to Europe?!

Maxim
Maxim
2 months ago
Reply to  KESC

I’m not sure about Israel, but Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan have small areas that belong to Europe, plus the three countries are members of the ‘ Council of Europe’ that’s why they have full EBU membership

Rashad Guliyev
Rashad Guliyev
2 months ago
Reply to  Maxim

Armenia technically doesn’t have any territory within the European borders.

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Rashad Guliyev

What European borders are you talking about specificaly?

KESC
KESC
2 months ago
Reply to  Maxim

Armenia doesn’t. It’s the only country in the Caucasus region that hasn’t any territory that belongs to Europe.

Maxim
Maxim
2 months ago
Reply to  KESC

Oh yeah, my mistake Sorry.

Last edited 2 months ago by Maxim
Maxim
Maxim
2 months ago
Reply to  KESC

Oh yeah I forgot. Sorry my mistake,

Maxim
Maxim
2 months ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

Kazakhstan wouldn’t give Russia 100% 12 points like Azerbaijan does. In JESC Kazakhstan gave their 12 points to North Macedonia (2018) and Poland (2019). Russia recieved I guess about 4 to 5 points in both editions. About the question if they’re European. Kazakhstan has indeed two states that are located in Europe( in the northwest of the country) . But I still don’t get it why the EBU won’t invite Kazakhstan since it has one to two associated members.

Rashad Guliyev
Rashad Guliyev
2 months ago
Reply to  Maxim

Because nobody really cares about JESC. Putin would go nuts if Kazakhstan gave Russia less than 12 at Eurovision. Azerbaijan gave them zero once, the next day Putin threatened Azerbaijan with canceling work visas of Azerbaijanis living in Russia. And I’m talking about a country that’s politically more independent of Russia than most ex-Soviet countries. Kazakhstan is basically the backyard of Russia.

Last edited 2 months ago by Rashad Guliyev
Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

Kazakhstan is an EBU associated member. That’s all. Being “European” or not is a non-issue.
Then Europe is designated from a geography standpoint as in the west of the Ural mountains when talking Euroasia. Some issues overlap when we talk geography, history, culture, politics and even food.
And geography within the European continent was not a factor necessarily when establishing full members of the EBU. It had to do broadcasting and receiving TV signals before satellite TV. That’s why some broadcasters in northern Africa are full members.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

Speaking of, countries like Armenia, Georgia, to some extent Azerbaijan are much more closer to Europe culturally than any country from Northern Africa.

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

Ok, I think I know what you mean but my point was about EBU membership from a technical standpoint. Anyway, I cannot think of Armenia and Georgia as different from “European”. IMO they are fully European even though geographically they are situated on the outskirts of both Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
Both Indo-European, craddle of Orthodoxism from early times, each have developed their own alphabet and a profound sense of identity and culture.OK they are small countries and quite isolated geographically from the rest of Europe. But they are fully European IMO.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

Right!

Rashad Guliyev
Rashad Guliyev
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

Lol, none of these factors make a country more European. Persian and Hindi are Indo-European languages as well. Ethiopia is an Orthodox Christian country. Majority of the European countries use latin alphabet. The Armenian alphabet has been recreated from the Ethiopian alphabet. Culture, cuisine and traditions of both of these countries are greatly influenced by the Middle East-Northern Africa. I’m assuming either you’ve never been to any of these countries or you’re just not a good observer.

Rashad Guliyev
Rashad Guliyev
2 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

What makes Azerbaijan ‘less European’ than those two countries? All three of them are sharing similar culture and history. Well, in fact Azerbaijan and Georgia are both Eurasian.

Stevan
Stevan
2 months ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

kazakhstan doesn’t border china

Maxim
Maxim
2 months ago
Reply to  Stevan

Kazakhstan has a border with China

Azuro
Azuro
2 months ago

Kosovo and Metohija already competes as part of Serbia

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Azuro

The occasional map showing Serbia during voting says otherwise.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
2 months ago

i mean it’s logical there aren’t any new invitees in the year we have massive struggles with corona measures already.

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago

As an Australian, I’m incredibly happy that we get to be in Eurovision and I think that we offer something really cool every year and I don’t understand everyone who says we shouldn’t be in it. But come on. There is literally no reason why Kazakhstan shouldn’t be in the contest. Kosovo, maybe not, just because of the political shockwave it will cause. But Australia is allowed, yet Kazakhstan isn’t? Why can’t we have both? I really don’t understand it, ESPECIALLY now that they are in Junior Eurovision.

Azuro
Azuro
2 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Australia is culturally European and has a 30 year history with the contest.

Kazakhstan has only been involved 4 years and is part of Central Asia not even Western Asia

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Azuro

The far west part of Kazakhstan is considered to be in Europe. And Australia, while having close ties to Europe, is culturally Australian.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Azuro

Culturally European? Irrelevant. Also not true. What about its citizens of Asian heritage? African? Aboriginal?

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Despite being very diverse, it’s still very culturally European in terms of things like Politics, Architecture, Sport, Dining for example.

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Will

Nope. It’s culturally Australian.

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

THANK YOU

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Azuro

Australia is NOT culturally European!

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

There is of course a reason why Kazakhstan shouldn’t be in the contest. They’re not full members of the EBU. This was the rule for sixty years until Australia showed up. I do agree that it is wrong that the two countries are not treated equally. The EBU have no valid excuses for this – the “long history” thing is worn out.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

And it’s well within the EBU’s discretion whether to invite an associate member (and non-member), which they have done in other events they organized. There is precedent tso yeah, regardless of any other reasoning, the EBU has the final say on whether to invite any associates to take part.

EurovisionBram
EurovisionBram
2 months ago

When Jon Ola Sand said that Eurovision will be back better than ever, I hoped/thought that we’d see Kazakhstan or Kosovo debut…

IHPIESC
IHPIESC
2 months ago

For me Kosovo shouldn’t make its debut until Serbia will withdraw for a while or will there will be stabilized situation between them.
And EBU should invite one Associated country for for example 2021, 2022, 2023 etc. Ikr that Australia will automatically participate until 2023, but if they make it more years for Australia and still won’t invite other countries, I will be a bit angry.

Joana
Joana
1 month ago
Reply to  IHPIESC

If the European Cup and the World Cup, Miss World and Miss Universe and the Olympics can take part with both countries participating, Kosovo and Serbia, why shouldn’t Eurovision?

Hrvatska
Hrvatska
2 months ago

It is a pity that there has been no debut for five years, and the countries that have a long pause from Eurovision you can see do not want to return in 2021

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
2 months ago
Reply to  Hrvatska

I don’t really consider it a pity when almost all eligible countries already have made their debut. It’s only micro nations + some arab countries with a low interest left to make theirs. In the future we’l probably only see like 1 debut every 10 years with the usual swinging of other countries like bosnia, hungary and slovakia.

Aris Odi
2 months ago

I wish the European Broadcasting Area included all of geographical Europe. I don’t understand why it doesn’t.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Aris Odi

I’m guessing that because most of Kazakhstan is in Central Asia, it makes more sense for it to belong to the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union than the EBU. But then, Egypt’s broadcaster belongs to both!

Mmm
Mmm
2 months ago

Kazakhstan has a geographical Europan part that is bigger than many countries that already take part in Eurovision, also while some say “it’s not culturally Europe”, that’s a very ignorant Western/Anglo-Saxic approach since Europe is also Eastern Europe and Slavic culture and Kazakhstan both culturally and politically is very much integrated with East Slavic countries and also Turkic is also part of Europe. The fact that Australia can take part just proves that EBU is biased against some European cultures.

Erasmus
Erasmus
2 months ago
Reply to  Mmm

true Kazakh mentality is much closer to the “Soviet” one rather than to typical “Asian” mentality.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Mmm

Agreed. They are familiar with Australia through movies, television and music…they don’t know the first thing about Kazakhstan and this is what informs their decisions. It is unfair.

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Mmm

Those are some good points tbh.