Serbia wants to join the European Union (EU). Brussels is clear: no EU membership for Serbia until it normalizes relations with Kosovo. Normalization means recognizing Kosovo’s independence.
Kosovo rejected ties to Serbia in 1991, in response to Slobodan Milosevic’s draconian repression. More than 10,000 Kosovo Albanians died and up to one million were displaced during Serbia’s crackdown.
NATO launched air strikes on 24 March 1999, aimed at preventing ethnic cleansing. United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1244 ended the war and established the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). UNMIK provided provisional systems for self-government and facilitated a political process to determine Kosovo’s future status, putting Kosovo on the path to statehood.