Analysis of political dynamics in the Western Balkans in the light of current geopolitical challenges – a new strategy for the Slovak Republic


Strategic Analysis Think Tank with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic launched a new project entitled „Analysis of political dynamics in the Western Balkans in the light of current geopolitical challenges – a new strategy for the Slovak Republic„. 

The aim of the project is to prepare an expert analytical study that will serve as a political baseline for a new approach of the Slovak Republic to the Western Balkan region and (selected countries of) the Eastern Partnership in the context of the new geopolitical challenges and EU enlargement.

The Western Balkan region is currently at an imaginary impasse, as EU enlargement does not seem to be progressing, inter-state conflicts persist, and inter-ethnic tensions threaten the stability of several countries in the region. Geopolitical and economic challenges make the region particularly vulnerable to the possible consequences of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The polarization of societies in the countries of the region has increased, significantly fuelled by pro-Russian disinformation actors and their local proxies, which has reduced cooperation of the countries of the region on the issue of joining the European Union. Public support around the region for their accession to the EU, with a few isolated exceptions (Albania, Kosovo), is declining – fastest in the largest country in the region – Serbia. Moreover, the promise of the European Union to include countries such as Ukraine and Moldova in its structures, potentially also Georgia, may affect the dynamics and motivation of the Western Balkan Euro-integration process. Given these new geopolitical challenges, the Slovak Republic needs a new strategic approach to the Western Balkans region to clarify and possibly update its foreign policy interests in relation to the region and, ultimately, to think strategically about how to adapt its diplomatic and other activities to current developments in the region.

The study will aim to assess and compare the dynamics and perspectives of the Euro-integration processes of the Western Balkan countries and (selected) Eastern Partnership countries, thus contributing to the political debate on EU enlargement, bearing in mind the foreign policy interests of the Slovak Republic. Also, the study will identify prospective areas of cooperation with the Western Balkan countries and (selected) Eastern Partnership countries that require special attention from the EU integration process and Euro-Atlantic structures views.

This project is generously funded by:

This project is led by:

Project Activities

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION, Western Balkans – Geopolitical Challenges and Perspectives: New Strategy for the Approach of the Slovak Republic, December 13, 2023

On December 13, our Strategic Analysis Think Tank team organized a roundtable discussion, where we showcased two analytical studies examining the strategic and security priorities within the foreign and security policy of the Slovak Republic, specifically focusing on the Western Balkans region and Eastern Partnership countries.

The first analytical study assesses the consequences of geopolitical changes triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the Western Balkans region. It analyzes the implications of opening the European perspective for selected Eastern Partnership countries (Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine) and aspires to initiate a broader discussion on the strategic focus of the foreign policy of the Slovak Republic in the Western Balkans region.

The second analytical study focuses on mapping major trends in the field of hybrid threats in the Western Balkans, with specific emphasis on analyzing actors, relationships, tools, and forms of influencing decision-making processes of state institutions and public opinion in the region. This initiative aligns with the foreign policy priorities of the Slovak Republic, where the Western Balkans region has long been considered strategically significant, not only in terms of geographic, cultural, and social proximity but also in the security context, where instability in this region directly affects the security of Slovakia.

The analytical study was presented and discussed as a basis for the Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic to contribute to a better understanding of the security dynamics of the Western Balkans region through the analysis of the impact of hybrid threats. The analytical output will also be utilized by other institutions and components dedicated to security policy, specifically addressing hybrid threats.

The presented studies were supported by the grant scheme of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic.

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