EBU membership key to Kosovo's Eurovision future

08/04/2010

Kosovo's Public Broadcaster is working to become a full member of the European Broadcaster Union, a move that would allow participation in the Eurovision contest.

By Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 08/04/10

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Kosovo's public broadcaster must become a full member of the EBU before the country can be represented at Eurovision. [Laura Hasani/SETimes]

Kosovo will not compete in this year's Eurovision song contest because the country's public broadcast company is not a full member of the European Broadcaster Union (EBU). Membership in the EBU is one of the stipulations for Eurovision participation.

According to EBU, Kosovo would be eligible through development of the country's RTK public broadcaster. The EBU and its members will continue support RTK "in all relevant domains" under the recently signed co-operation agreement.

The EBU has 75 active members from 56 countries in Europe. There are 43 associate members around the world. Kosovo's RTK has observer status only.

"RTK today fulfils the traditional role of a European-type public service broadcasting organization, to the best of its ability under existing economic circumstances," said the recent EBU report.

However, according to RTK General-Director Sylejman Shaqiri, broadcaster's EUB membership may be a ways down the road.

"RTK will be able to become a full member of the EBU when Kosovo becomes a member of the International Union of the Telecommunications," Shaqiri told SETimes. "To do this, Kosovo has to become a UN member."

There is hope that RTK will be granted full membership status and participate in Eurovision next year.

"If RTK brings the project to us within its budget limits, would support such an initiative," said a spokesman for the Kosovo Cultural Ministry.

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EBU membership and the Eurovision contest have become a hot topic for bloggers in Kosovo.

"….now that we became independent, the saga continues!" writes another blogger Safet Krasniqi.

Some bloggers have already begun debating possible candidates for the contest.

"We hope there will be better news in the years to come," Krasniqi writes, "until then, keep your fingers crossed!"

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.
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