NEWS published on 30 Mar 2012

Kosovo seeks full EBU membership and Song Contest slot

Kosovo has urged the EBU to admit Radio Television Kosovo (RTK) as an Active Member, thereby enabling Europe's newest nation to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. 

"The EBU is quintessentially important for us," deputy Kosovo Foreign Minister Petrit Selimi told EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre  at a meeting in Geneva. "And nothing is more important than the Song Contest in nation-building."

The EBU played a major role in establishing RTK in 1999, after the Kosovo War, and RTK enjoys a wide-ranging services agreement with the Union. However, active membership of the Union is currently open only to broadcasters in countries belonging to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). And while 89 countries have recognized the Republic of Kosovo since it declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo has not yet been admitted to the ITU.

Mr Selimi is engaged on a series of meetings with international organizations, including the ITU and the Council of Europe, to press for further recognition of Kosovo. He said that RTK's young population suffered from isolation. "People need to be part of something bigger," he said. "RTK is still an island and it needs to become part of an archipelago."

Ms Deltenre wished him luck in his mission, but said that the EBU's current statutes and regulations made it impossible for RTK to become an Active Member of the Union or to take part in the Song Contest.