The European Commission has recommended that Serbia should be allowed to enter into talks on joining the European Union.

The announcement follows a political breakthrough reached last week on normalising relationships between Serbia and Kosovo.

The deal has been warmly welcomed by EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg today.

It is 14 years since Serbia lost control of its southern province, Kosovo, following a vicious conflict with the Albanian separatists who were backed by NATO.

The EU has been making significant efforts in recent years for the fractured relationship between Serbia and Kosovo to be normalised.

In a landmark agreement last Friday, the two signed a political agreement which affords limited autonomy to Serbs, but effectively cements Kosovo's independence.

Today, the EC announced it was recommending that Serbia be allowed to enter into talks on joining the EU - a key objective of Serbia's government.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is chairing talks on the recommendation in Luxembourg.

While it is unlikely that a decision will be taken today, EU leaders should sign-off on a date for Serbian accession talks at their summit in June.