Jean Monnet Centre of Exellence
The Challenges of the Enlargement
Policy: EU versus China's diplomacy
in Western Balkans 2020-23
Team leader: Prof. Danijela Jaćimović
The Centre of Excellence at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Montenegro will provide synergy among academics in Montenegro as well as professors from EU-based universities (TEPSA) and China. Their focus will be research and teaching on EU Enlargement policy and the examination of the effects of Chinese engagement on the European integration of the Balkans. The current geopolitics has become significantly more complex than it was previously in recent years. It will increase the internationalization of both teaching and research, bring innovation and knowledge transfer to the current courses and affect course content and curriculums in time for the next reaccreditation process.
Teaching in English will be introduced, which will result in increasing both the attractiveness and excellence of our courses on the EU. It will improve the level of competences and skills of the Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral students. The students will be future government officials, representatives of the business community, diplomats and so on. The implementation of this project will influence their knowledge, attitude and ability to efficiently perform in their everyday work and in that way contribute to Montenegro’s European future.
The Centre will address current enlargement challenges and its research activities should make a strong argument that the external environment and the “return of geopolitics” in the Western Balkans are a major difference when compared to the earlier Eastern enlargement of the EU. The joint action of the EU and the Western Balkans is needed to address new challenges and make sustainable strategies for these countries for the next five to ten years.
The accession process of the Western Balkan countries has been very slow and it is expected to be long and uncertain in the future. On the other hand, the Chinese presence in the Western Balkans has become increasingly visible, especially regarding infrastructure investment, notably in terms of transport, energy and industrial production (the Balkans Silk Road) over the last decade. Therefore, the question raised is: do the Western Balkan counties have a strategy for the next five to ten years?
The activities of the Centre will provide for the synergy of trans-institutional and transnational expertize, that would provide strategic responses elevating regional views, for the policy makers to have strategic responses to it. The high level of expertise of local and EU participants will contribute to making these regional views heard in credible ways. Based on created synergy, the strategy for future integration will be developed.