At the Edge of Europe: Stabilizing the Balkans through Geoeconomic Regionalism

Just like a century ago – and throughout their entire history – the Balkans remain a zone of structural instability. In this respect, the demise of the Cold War confrontation (and rhetorics) did not bring along the advent of a stable, rule-based environment. Therefore, although the Balkan area is an essentially coherent cultural sub-space, while still being radically diverse, the relations of its constituent states have been marked by a confuse set of bilateral – and adversarial – interactions. Read more ...

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Recommendation: Left Behind? Reassessing the Balkan Quest for EU Integration

At the fringes of the European Union, but entirely engulfed by it, the Balkan countries have set upon their quest for integration ever since the late ‘90s. In their lasting interaction, the partners have engaged in an often inconsistent negotiation framework that moved from the idea of ‘sharing everything but institutions’ to a more cautious approach, dominated by (im)patience and mutual demands that did not generate any tangible outcome. Read more ...

China’s Offering in the Western Balkans

China’s role in the contemporary international order has exponentially grown over the past decade and has culminated with president Xi’s announcement of the ‘millennium project’: One Belt One Road (or the Belt and Road Initiative).  Considering that no country is currently offering such an ambitious endeavor to the world in the near future, China has underlined its leading position in the global agora. And a key role in the revitalization of the ancient Silk Road was put forward for the Western Balkan countries. Read more ...

Core-Peripheries Relation Preserved despite EU Integration

A quarter of century after the transformation processes began in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and over ten years after the largest enlargement of the EU, the division between core and peripheries has deepened. Compared to the 1990 period and to parallel developments in Western Europe show that while development in the East did happen, the gap between the ‘rich’ West and the ‘poor’ East and South remained. Read more ...

The EU Factor: GDP per Capita | #BalkanStats

This is the first material in our Balkan Stats series. Every post will focus on a statistically relevant indicator, briefly showing how the Balkan trends converge or diverge due to the various economic and political allegiances of the constituent states.  Comments are reduced to a bare minimum, letting figures do the talking for themselves. This week, Horia Ciurtin - our Senior Expert - depicts how GDP per capita (PPP) varies in accordance with EU membership. Read more ...

Geopolitical Influence on Media and Media Freedom in the Western Balkans

In the beginning of the ‘2000s, media in the Western Balkans failed to face problems of corruption, manipulation and political propaganda that – in time – evolved to be an easy target for external actors and open possibilities for increasing their soft power in certain countries and, therefore, in the entire region. This brief aims to analyze how globally (or regionally) relevant powers – US, Russia and Turkey – are using the media in Western Balkan countries and its loopholes to maximize their geopolitical interests. Read more ...