This thesis will discuss the contemporary meaning of the right to self-determination and practicing of this right, particularly in the context of unilateral secession. The most prominent example of such claim was the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo from Serbia in February 2008. The main goal of the thesis is to research if this event can be the turning point for the right to self-determination and what effects on Europe this precedent might have in the future. The key finding of the research is that the Kosovo case was a precedent with profound and long-term repercussions on the right to self-determination in general, and it raised, and will be raising many secessionist movements in Europe. Another finding is that the success of a unilateral declaration of independence mainly depends on the reaction of the international community which will, or will not support a new territory in its efforts to become a state. A different reaction in similar situations confirms that we need a uniformed rule applicable to all cases, without double standards and arbitrariness.
This precedent could have serious repercussions on Europe in the future. If this trend of „balkanization“ continues spreading across Europe, the map of Europe will change dramatically in the following years, and it can lead not only to political instability, but also to armed conflict between secessionist movements and central authorities.