The Western Balkans (WB) have gained worldwide attention as a venue for major power rivalry. The region’s six nations — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia — all have Euro-Atlantic links, albeit the degree of affiliation varies.
Internally, functional and structural flaws — whether the legacy of an isolationist communist regime in Albania or the result of the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia in the other nations — allow hostile external players to exert their influence. There is ethnic friction, boundary issues, and neighbourly problems in the environment.
All of these nations are fledgling democracies that have yet to fully recover from the Yugoslav wars’ aftermath. Their Euro-Atlantic orientation is presently a source of contention. While Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia have joined NATO, Serbia is torn between East and West, despite its EU candidate status. Although Western Balkan nations’ EU membership is still uncertain, all six have declared a readiness to join the Union but are moving at different speeds.
The Washington Institute for Defence and Security will hold a webinar to discuss the security conditions in the region in light of international players’ interventions. The meeting will highlight funding of Jihadism arms trade, and other security threats with a particular focus on UAE, Chinese and KSA activities in the region.
The webinar will be on Friday 25 of February 21:00 Belgrade time zone and it’ll be recorded via Zoom.