• The independence of Kosovo is a clear example of the divergences within the EU with respect to questions relating to foreign policy. This territory unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 and has been recognised by 23 of the current members of the EU and also by the USA.
  • However, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia have all refused to recognise Kosovo.
  • The military intervention of NATO against Serbia in 1999 resulted in this territory being placed under international control. Serbia had previously annulled the autonomy that Kosovo had enjoyed and began to repress its citizens, the majority of whom were ethnically and culturally Albanian.
  • Kosovo is currently one of the largest beneficiaries of EU aid in per capita terms and, despite internal differences between European member states, currently has the status of a potential candidate for EU membership.
  • Despite the agreement reached between Serbia and Kosovo, through which the former recognises the authority of the latter over all of its territory, some EU countries continue their reticence to recognise Kosovo as an independent state.