Nine years after NATO troops entered Kosovo and United Nations oversaw its administration, Provisional Institutions of Self-Government Assembly of Kosovo, adopted on 17 February 2008, declared Kosovo to be independent from Serbia.
The 2008 declaration was a product of failed negotiations concerning the adoption of the Ahtisarri plan, which broke down in the fall of 2007. The plan, prepared by the UN Special Envoy, former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, stipulated a sort of supervised independence for Kosovo, without expressly using the word "independence" among its proposals. Under the plan, the Kosovo entity would gain self-governance under the supervision of the European Union, and become obligated to expressly protect its minorities' rights by means of a constitution and a representative government, while this entity would be accorded its own national symbols such as a flag and a coat of arms, and be obligated to carry out border demarcation on the disputed Kosovo-Republic of Macedonia border. The Albanian negotiators supported the Ahtisaari plan essentially in whole, and the plan gained the backing of the European Union and of the United States. However, Serbia and Russia rejected it outright, and no progress was possible on the United Nations front.
Faced with no progress on negotiations in sight, the Kosovars decided to unilaterally proclaim the Republic of Kosova, obligating themselves in the process to follow the Ahtisaari plan's provisions in full. As of mid-April 2008, this has largely been the case, with the new Republic adopting a constitution written by local and international scholars protecting minority rights and providing for a representative government with guaranteed ethnic representation, which law is to take effect on 15 June 2008.
The 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence elicited mixed reaction internationally and polarized one domestically, the latter along the division of Kosovo Serbs vs. the Kosovo Albanians and non-Serb minorities taken together. Accordingly, effective control in Kosovo has also fractured along these lines.
One of the consequences of the declaration was the fall of the government of Serbia, due to internal discord on how to deal with the European Union and Kosovo.