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Kosovo’s RTK membership vote delayed until June, report claims

Kosovo’s dream of being allowed to still compete at the Eurovision Song Contest has been shattered once more. An Albanian newspaper reports that EBU have decided to delay RTK’s membership vote until June 2019.

Not during the General Assembly

Kosovo’s broadcaster is not an EBU member at the moment. They have however expressed a desire to gain membership as soon as possible. In previous news, it seemed RTK’s Director General was hoping to let the vote take place during the General Assembly of the EBU. That meeting is going to take place later this month. However, the EBU will need more time to think about the issue. In a statement to Magazina, they said:

The EBU is currently discussing this issue and we expect the vote to take place in June next year.

EBU in a statement about Kosovo’s EBU membership

When RTK first mentioned the vote taking place, ESCXTRA.com contacted the EBU. They then confirmed to us that “constructive discussions” would continue to take place. They explicitly did not mention any vote being planned, but it now seems that a vote is indeed going to take place.

Tricky issue

Kosovo’s potential EBU membership is a sensitive topic in- and outside the Eurovision world. Soon after expressing their interest in taking part at the Eurovision Song Contest, other countries expressed their support for a possible Kosovar participation. On the other hand, countries that do not recognise Kosovo as an independent country have opposed the idea, such as Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In order to become a full member of the European Broadcasting Union, RTK must be a member of the International Telecommunications Union. In order to become a member of the ITU, you must be a member of the United Nations – a membership Kosovo currently do not hold. The other option is to become a member of the Council of Europe. Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj urged Kosovo to apply to become a member soon, as the application could take two to three years to complete. EBU can, at any point, choose to make an exception to the rule and invite RTK themselves.

A similar gesture was made back in 2011 for Eurovision Young Dancers. Tringa Hysa then represented Kosovo. For the next three editions, RTK didn’t return to the contest anymore. Will they make it to another Eurovision related contest soon?

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