The paper titled “Does China Challenge Integration Perspective of the Western Balkan Countries?” was presented on the 12th SCF International Conference on “Contemporary Issues in Social Sciences” on October 7-10, 2021 in Antalya, Turkey.
The paper was presented by prof. Danijela Jaćimović. The authors are: Prof. Danijela Jaćimović, Prof. Nikola Milović, Prof. Tanja Miščević and Master student - Marta Radenović.
You can read the abstract of the paper here:
It appears that enlargement to include the Western Balkan countries has begun to operate quite differently from the process as experienced in Central and Eastern Europe, where geopolitics consistently played an important role in their convergence. Russia has had traditionally strong historical, cultural and religious ties with the Western Balkans. Furthermore, the presence of China has become increasingly visible through their investment in infrastructure, notably in transport, energy and industrial production, as well as the development of the Balkan Silk Road, especially after the financial crisis of 2008. For each step forward in the integration process in the Western Balkans, there have been powerful pull and push factors, of almost equal strength, that have created the feeling that that the path to the EU is a two-steps forward and one step back process.The underinvestment in the infrastructure sector is a chronic problem in the West Balkans, and thus China’s entry in the region may partially contribute to finding solutions to the problem. In this regard, China’s involvement could be seen as compatible with the interests of the Western Balkan countries, and even perhaps with the interests of the European Union.