Kosovo will not debut at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
It has been revealed that Kosovo will not be debuting at the Eurovision Song Contest next year. The Director General of Kosovar broadcaster RTK, Mentor Shala, revealed to esctoday.com that despite submitting the correct paperwork, the EBU have denied a debut due to the country not being a member of the UN.
The full statement given by RTK is as follows:
RTK has responded to all EBU requests for its participation in ESC. Last year the Reference Group for ESC gave a positive opinion of Kosovo’s participation in ESC but under one condition if the host is a country that has recognized Kosovo’s independence. Since Ukraine did not recognize Kosovo’s independence, we did not have the opportunity to participate in ESC.
After Portugal’s victory in Ukraine, we were sure we would take part in ESC as Portugal has recognized Kosovo’s independence. The Reference Group again gave a positive opinion of Kosovo’s participation in ESC for 2018. We also applied formally and had many references from many organizations that supported us in this regard. And we were very confident that the news would be positive. But we were very surprised when a letter from EBU came to us telling us that Kosovo for the moment cannot participate in ESC because it is not a member of the UN.
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 cannot 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!
It’s not at all fair and there is no reason to block a country to attend a song festival like ESC. We are very sorry that a non-political organization like the EBU is politically acting in the case of Kosovo. We will not stop in our efforts to participate in ESC and I am very sure we will achieve our goal.
In the past Kosovo have participated in other Eurovision events. For example in 2011, RTK selected Tringa Hsya to participate at the Eurovision Young Dancers contest that year. To be able to participate in a future edition of the Song Contest, Kosovo must become a member of the International Television Union, as well as a member of the United Nations.