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Final Publication "Western Balkans at the Crossroads: Assessing Influences of Non-Western External Actors"


The final publication summarizing project outcomes is published!

You can see and download the publication here

or see an executive summary.

The executive summary is available also in local languages:

The publication covers engagement of all major non-Western actors actively present in the region–Russia, Turkey, China, the Gulf States and Iran–in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), North Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

What objectives and strategic gains, if any, do non-Western actors aim to achieve? Which means do they employ and what are the particular consequences of their involvement? Are external engagements undermining the fragile internal stability of the Western Balkan countries? Or is it a promising market at the gateway to Europe, with an accommodating political and business environment they are aiming at? Are their strategic interests and modes of conduct contradictory to those of the EU and US ones or is it possible to find a common ground?


The publication sheds more light on these questions and provide a comprehensive overview and more detailed understanding of selected external actors’ involvement in the five post-Yugoslav non-EU member countries. It strives to avoid an oversimplifying black-and-white view and conventional judgments, which either portray non-Western external engagements as inherently malign and threatening or uncritically champion them as a counterweight to the Western dominance. Instead, it aims to investigate the topic with analytical precision and sensitivity to local contexts, providing for assessments of the real motivations, extent, and consequences of external actors’ involvement.

Download the document:

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