European Western Balkans


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Kosovo is a potential candidate for future enlargement of the European Union. Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia was enacted on 17 February 2008 by a vote of members of the Assembly of Kosovo. Independence has not been recognised by Serbia, as well as by five EU member states.

The EU is active in Kosovo through its Special Representative (EUSR), and the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) mission in the rule of law area (EULEX). The EU is also present through member countries’ Embassies and Liaison offices.

The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) is the largest civilian mission ever launched under the European Security and Defence Policy. The aim is to assist the Kosovo’s authorities in the area of rule of law, specifically in the police, judiciary and customs. EULEX is a technical mission that mentors, monitors and advises, while retaining a number of limited executive powers.

Important dates 

4 February 2008 – Council adopts Joint Action establishing EU Rule of Law mission in Kosovo EULEX

18 February 2008 – Council acknowledges Kosovo’s declaration of independence, underlines EU conviction that Kosovo is a sui generis case

15 June 2008 – Kosovo adopts its Constitution

9 December 2008 – EULEX becomes operational

8 March 2011 – Following a UN General Assembly Resolution the Kosovo-Serbia technical dialogue begins

19 January 2012 – Commission launches the visa liberalisation dialogue with Kosovo

10 September 2012 – Kosovo declares the end of supervised independence

19 October 2012 – High-level dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia as facilitated by HRVP Ashton begins

19 April 2013 – Agreement on the first principles of the comprehensive normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo signed in Brussels

25 July 2014 – The EU and Kosovo chief negotiators initialed the SAA between the EU and Kosovo in Brussels.

1 April 2016 – The Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Kosovo enters into force

*Designation for “Kosovo” is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

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