Summary: Starting from an overview of the political background of the Kosovo issue, rooted in Serb and Albanian history, the paper then describes the main features of the current situation: "nothing more than autonomy" from one side, "nothing less than independence" for the other. Against this background, the authors then examine the recently formulated vision of EU involvement in Kosovo after the status settlement, as set out in a series of joint reports by High Representative Solana and Commissioner Rehn over the last couple of years. This is followed by a concise description and critical evaluation of the EU record in Kosovo since 1999 and a brief discussion of the challenges that await the planned EU rule of law mission and other EU actions in Kosovo. Linkages with other EU instruments and policies are also considered in this context, as is the broader context of activities by other actors of the international community involved in the Kosovo issue. The paper concludes on a number of recommendations regarding future EU activities in Kosovo, as well as their impact on the stability of Kosovo's direct and wider neighbourhood. These address both the EU's material presence in and financial support for Kosovo itself, and the need to clarify membership prospects - and conditions - for the whole region.
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