Rumours were going around the Internet in the last couple of weeks about Kosovo making their debut in the next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Lisbon. Today, RTK confirmed that Kosovo will not be sending an entry in Portugal.
Even though Kosovo’s television RTK sent a delegation in the past years to observe the Contest, this broadcaster is not a member of the EBU – neither a full member nor an associate member.
According to the Director General of RTK, Mr. Mentor Shala, the EBU would have allowed Kosovo to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016, if the Contest was held in a country which has recognized Kosovo as an independent country. As Ukraine was hosting the Contest, and they haven’t recognized Kosovo, their participation was impossible. He added that even though the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest has no issues with their participation in the Contest, this year they were informed that their participation in Lisbon won’t be possible either, due to the fact that they are not members of the UN.
Even though the Reference Group can make exceptions on a case by case basis, Kosovo is neither a member of the UN, the International Telecommunications Union or is a Member of the Council of Europe, and thus they can not take part in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Mr. Mentor Shala added that nevertheless, they will not stop in their intentions to sing in Eurovision, and that he is sure that in time they will achieve their goal.