February 17, 2008, the Parliament of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. This unprecedented move was claimed to be legitimate based on the right of self-determination that people of Kosovo were entitled to. However, international community has not yet developed a commonly accepted legal or political principle to resolve the tussle between sustaining sovereignty and territorial integrity and claiming independence through self-determination. Hence, Kosovo''s declaration of independence has provoked worldwide debate on its legality and legitimacy, and on whether this move is a unique case or a precedent for other separatists.
The study is centered on the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo in 2008. First, we probe into the cause and history of Kosovo''s declaration of independence. Furthermore, the history, concept, international practice, and interrelation of separatism and self-determination are examined. Secondly, we address the legal controversy triggered by Kosovo''s declaration of independence. By comparing domestic factors of Germany and Spain, both of whom are EU member states, we investigate the reason that leads them to form opposite foreign policies for Kosovo''s independence. Lastly, the conclusion looks into the influence of Kosovo''s declaration of independence. Via Kosovo''s case, we intend to provide an international comprehensive perspective in separatism, self-determination and recognition of a new state.