Serbia (/ˈsɜːrbiə/ (About this sound listen); Serbian: Србија / Srbija [sř̩bija]), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија / Republika Srbija [repǔblika sř̩bija]), is a sovereign state situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. It borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; Macedonia to the south; Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro to the west and claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia numbers around 7 million residents. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the oldest and largest cities in southeastern Europe.
Following the Slavic migrations to the Balkans postdating the 6th century, Serbs established several states in the early Middle Ages. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by Rome and the Byzantine Empire in 1217, reaching 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 from the end of the 17th century, while maintaining a 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 former Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina (and other territories) 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.
During the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia formed a union with Montenegro, which dissolved peacefully in 2006. In 2008, the parliament of the province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence, with mixed responses from the international community.
Serbia is a member of the UN, CoE, OSCE, PfP, BSEC, CEFTA and it is acceding to the WTO. Since 2014 the country has been negotiating its EU accession with perspective of joining the European Union by 2025 and is the only country in the current enlargement agenda which is designated as “free” by Freedom House.
Since 2007, Serbia formally adheres to the policy of military neutrality. An upper-middle income economy with a dominant service sector followed by the industrial sector and agriculture, the country ranks high by the Human Development Index (66th), Social Progress Index (45th) as well as the Global Peace Index (56th)
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