Following Kosovo`s declaration of independence on 17 February 2008, UNMIK continued to represent Kosovo at all CEFTA meetings. At the end of 2008, Kosovo changed its customs stamps by replacing UNMIK with Kosovo. This has led to a trade blockade of Serbia and Bosnia, which the Republic of Kosovo does not recognize.  The government of Pristina returned the favour with its own blockade of imports from Serbia. This led to clashes at border crossings in July 2011.  On the recommendation of the EU, future members have prepared for accession by creating free trade zones. Much of THE CTATA`s foreign trade is being bugged with EU countries. All the former participating countries had already signed association agreements with the EU, so the FTACE effectively served as a preparation for full membership of the European Union. Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the EU on 1 May 2004, followed by Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January 2007. Croatia joined the EU on 1 July 2013. The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is an international trade agreement between countries mainly based in South-Eastern Europe. Founded by representatives of Poland, from Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the CTA HAS extended to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and the Minuk (on behalf of Kosovo, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244).
The latter is a modern and comprehensive regional free trade agreement, designed to be an integral part of the pre-accession agenda of the contracting parties and, if necessary, to meet their WTO obligations. It provides a solid legal basis for policy formulation and implementation in key trade and investment areas. The agreement was amended by the agreements signed in Brno on 11 September 1995 and in Bled on 4 July 2003. To date, under Article 51, three of the original signatories, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania, have withdrawn from the EU accession agreement. As soon as a participating country joins the European Union (EU), its membership in the FTACE ends. Since 1 July 2013, the parties to the CEFTA agreement have been on behalf of Kosovo: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia and UNMIK. The initial agreement of the ALECE was signed on 21 December 1992 in Krakow (Poland) by Poland, Hungary and the Czech and Slovak Republic (then parts of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic). It came into force in July 1994. Under the CTATA, the participating countries hoped to mobilise integration efforts in the institutions of Western Europe and thus adhere to European political, economic, security and legal systems, thereby consolidating democracy and the market economy. All parties to the original agreement had now joined the EU, leaving the FTACE. It was therefore decided to extend the FTACE to other Balkan countries that had already concluded a matrix of bilateral free trade agreements under the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe.