Germany’s role in the breakup of Yugoslavia stands out as the country’s first major diplomatic initiative after unification. During the second half of 1991, the German government vigorously pushed its partners in the European Community (EC) for early recognition of Slovenian and Croatian independence. This policy met with fierce resistance from most Western allies and seriously strained the EC. Serbian sources argue that this episode is evidence that a unified Germany is pursuing geostrategic ambitions that reach back to the Second World War. German policymakers reject this view, claiming instead that the guiding principle of this policy was the right for self determination. Neither explanation of German policy towards Yugoslavia is correct.