Although national interest is one of the major issues in political science it is very difficult if not impossible to define it objectively. It is better to speak about national interests, which are not something eternal and depend on the country's size. With the exception of substantial external threats, when security starts to dominate, welfare is the crux of national interests, particularly for small states. By enhancing welfare, small states also strengthen their position in integration groupings. Welfare is also a precondition for improving security position. National interests are not a sumof individual's interests nor are they superior to individual ones. They may be defined as abstract common interests, which provide Pareto optimum meaning that they do not reduce benefits of others. National interests are not benign. They have been frequently abused as a mask for the realization of the most imperialistic interests, for wars and other violations of human rights. Even today individual groups in order to achieve their own individual interests try to present them as national. Understanding national interests aseverything enhancing national economy and welfare of its people and in such a way also independence, is stimulating development. (Ab)using national interests for achieving particular individual interests under the mask of national ones is in fact retarding development because it means non-market solutions, reducing competition and thus retarding development.