Western Balkans – Geopolitical Challenges and Perspectives: New Strategy for the Approach of the Slovak Republic

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.