Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central- and Southeastern Europe. Its territory covers the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and central part of the Balkans. Serbia borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the west; its border with Albania is disputed. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is among the largest cities in Southeastern Europe.
After their settlement in the Balkans, Serbs formed a medieval kingdom that evolved into a Serbian Empire, which reached its peak in the 14th century. By the 16th century Serbian lands were conquered by Ottomans. Serbia regained independence from the Ottoman Empire in a 19th century revolution and subsequently expanded its territory. Former Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina joined Serbia in 1918. Following the end of World War I, the country united with other South Slavic peoples into a Yugoslav state which would exist in several formations up until 2006, when Serbia once again became independent.
In February 2008, the parliament of Kosovo, Serbia's southern province with an ethnic Albanian majority, declared independence. The response from the international community has been mixed. Serbia regards Kosovo as its autonomous province governed by the United Nations.
Serbia is a member in numerous organisations such as the United Nations, the OSCE, Council of Europe and CEFTA which it presides over in 2010. Serbia is classified as an emerging and developing economy by the International Monetary Fund and an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. WTO accession is expected in 2010. Serbia has a high Human Development Index while Freedom House in 2008 listed Serbia as one of few "free" Balkan states. The country is also an EU membership applicant and a militarily neutral country.