TIMELINES: What two former Yugoslavian republics formed a union Feb. 4, 2003?

February 5, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Feb. 4, 2003, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adopts a constitutional charter to become State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Following the collapse of communist Yugoslavia and subsequent violent ethnic conflicts, the remaining Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro declare a union in 1992. In 1999, the massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo provoke NATO airstrikes in Serbia resulting in ongoing tension between Serbia and Kosovo. In June of 2006, Montenegro leaves the union with Serbia under a provision of the constitution that allows the two republics to determine by referendum whether or not they remain a union. In 2008, Kosovo declares its independence from Serbia, an act that Serbia refuses to recognize.

Today, nearly four years after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, the ongoing conflict threatens to jeopardize Serbia’s bid to enter the European Union, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG). In a recent report, ICG warned that Serbia’s refusal to recognize the independent government in Kosovo could lead to more violence and casualties. In December, the EU decided to delay the decision to accept Serbia’s candidacy and encouraged Serbia to improve relations with Kosovo.