Artist News

Dua Lipa named Honorary Ambassador of Kosovo

By | Published on Monday 8 August 2022

Dua Lipa and Vjosa Osmani

Dua Lipa has been made an Honorary Ambassador of Kosovo at a ceremony in the country’s capital, Pristina. The singer was in the city to headline the Sunny Hill Festival, which she co-founded with her father, Kosovan Dukagjin Lipa, in 2018.

The award was presented in recognition of Lipa’s work with the festival and the Sunny Hill Foundation promoting a campaign that is calling for a change to visa rules in the Balkan region so that Kosovans can travel into the European Union for short stays visa-free, as citizens can in five neighbouring countries.

After receiving the award from President Vjosa Osmani on Friday, Lipa wrote on Instagram: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to represent my country all over the world and to continue my work and efforts globally to see that we leave our mark and make a difference. The youth of Kosovo deserves the right to visa liberalisation, freedom to travel and to dream big”.

In her own statement, Osmani said: “I gave the title of Honorary Ambassador of the Republic Of Kosovo to Dua Lipa because she continues to honour our country in every step and every appearance. I thanked her, on behalf of all the citizens of the Republic Of Kosovo, for everything she has done … making our voice heard everywhere in the world”.

“She is using her incredible voice and talent, not only to offer the world songs that leave a mark, but also to present the best image of Kosovo everywhere in the world”, she went on. “Today, because of Dua, there is no one who does not know Kosovo, which has once again made it the centre of world culture through the Sunny Hill festival”.

“We had the pleasure of hosting Dua together with her parents, Dukagjin and Anesa, to thank them for this great contribution to the image of Kosovo in the world as well as to … repeat our common message for visa liberalisation for the citizens of Kosovo, which is also the motto of this year’s edition of the Sunny Hill festival”, she concluded.

To be granted visa liberalisation by the EU, countries must meet various criteria. Kosovo says that it has met all 95 of these benchmarks every year since 2018, and claims that this means that it is meeting more than double that of any of its neighbouring countries – Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and North Macedonia – none of which are EU members, but all of which have a visa liberalisation agreement with the EU.

As well as Dua Lipa herself, other performers at this year’s Sunny Hill Festival at the weekend included Diplo, J Balvin, Skepta and AJ Tracey.