Kosovo donor conference in Brussels on July 11

Brussels – The European Commission is organising a donors conference in Brussels on July 11 to gather funds to help Kosovo on its way to statehood, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

Preparations for the conference have been going on for several months. It will take place some five months after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, sparking anger in Belgrade and Russia.

Most EU nations have formally recognised Kosovo’s independence and the European Commission foresees that there is room in the bloc for the whole western Balkans region.

The European Union’s executive arm has already earmarked 395.1 million euros (614 million dollars) for Kosovo for 2007-2011, and could allocate a further 200 million for “specific socio-economic needs” linked to its new status.

Brussels has provided Kosovo with some 1.8 billion euros since 1999, when a NATO air campaign ended a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists, and the United Nations began administering Kosovo.

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