Video: A protester angered over land allocation sets off tear gas at a meeting earlier Tuesday at which a Kosovo parliament foreign affairs committee adopted a Montenegro border demarcation deal - @BalkanNewsbeat
Serbia (/ˈsɜːrbiə/, Serbian: Србија / Srbija, IPA: [sř̩bija]), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија / Republika Srbija), is a sovereign state situated at the crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. Relative to its small territory, it is a diverse country distinguished by a transitional character, situated along cultural, geographic, climatic and other boundaries. Serbia is landlocked and borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; Macedonia to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the west; it also claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia numbers around 7 million residents, and its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the largest cities in Southeast Europe.
Following the Slavic migrations to the Balkans from the 6th century onwards, Serbs established several states in the early Middle Ages. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by Rome and the Byzantine Empire in 1217; it reached its peak in 1346 as a relatively short-lived Serbian Empire. By the mid-16th century, the entire modern-day Serbia was annexed by the Ottomans, at times interrupted by the Habsburg Empire, which started expanding towards Central Serbia since the end of the 17th century, while maintaining foothold in modern-day Vojvodina. In the early 19th century, the Serbian Revolution established the nation-state as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory. Following disastrous casualties in World War I, and the subsequent unification of the Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina with Serbia, the country co-founded Yugoslavia with other South Slavic peoples, which would exist in various political formations until the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. As a result, Serbia formed a union with Montenegro in 1992, which broke apart in 2006, when Serbia again became an independent country. In 2008 the parliament of Kosovo, Serbia's southern province with an Albanian ethnic majority, declared independence, with mixed responses from the international community.
Serbia is a member of the UN, CoE, OSCE, PfP, BSEC, and CEFTA. An EU membership candidate since 2012, Serbia has been negotiating its EU accession since January 2014, following the European Council and Commission endorsements in 2013. The country is acceding to the WTO and is a militarily neutral state. Serbia is an upper-middle income economy with dominant service sector, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. The country ranks high in Social Progress Index (45th) as well as Global Peace Index (46th), relatively high in Human Development Index (66th), and is an economically moderately free country (77th).