Original scientific paper
The article explores the process that led to Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence and argues that the willingness of many countries to contribute to the creation of Kosovo as cannot be explained solely by humanitarian concerns, and the remedial understanding of the right to self-determination. What seems to have motivated the Western powers was also the recent memory of the UN’s failure to stop the internecine wars which characterised the SFRY’s dissolution (particularly the war in Bosnia), as well as the rejection on the part of the international community with the way in which Kosovan autonomy, previously entrenched in the SFRY constitution of 1974, had been emasculated from 1989 onwards by both Serbia and the FRY in a process which served to deny Kosovo Albanians both the minority rights and the right of internal self-determination. Finally, the article speculates on the long-term implications of the Kosovo intervention. Instead of being seen as a “unique case”, the intervention in Kosovo may be seen as the consolidation of a growing European commitment to the rights of internal minorities, including the right to territorial autonomy for national minorities.