The turmoils in international relations following the fall of the Berlin wall represented a serious challenge for the overall concept of European political unity. In its first international assignment outside the context of the Cold war, traditional national interests and animosities surfaced, and they demonstrated rather precisely all the complexity of the project promulgated by the Maastricht Agreement. At the time there was no common European approach to the solution of the crisis on the territory of the former Yugoslavia and no consent regarding the key issues, such as the recognition of the former Yugoslav republics as sovereign entities i.e. defining the criteria for their recognition. The paper focuses on this very specificity of the new approach to this problem, since it has increasingly been a subject of discretionary political decisions rather than the issue of international law in the traditional sense of meeting certain criteria for state recognition. And finally, concerning the degree of encroaching upon national sovereignty, there is a marked difference between the nature of the process of shaping a common foreign and security policy and shaping policies in other areas (e.g. transport, science and education, and so on). Also, the importance of developing an awareness of this difference as the main precondition for the realization of the project of the EU political integration is pointed out.