EIRP Proceedings, Vol 14, No 1 (2019)

Enlargement of the European Union in the Western Balkans and Russia's Geopolitics in the Region

Angela-Mihaela Ene

Abstract


The European construction at the level of establishing an economic, political, social and culturalunity between its constituent states and those which are to complete it,represent the ultimate vision of a unitedand solid Europe, designed to generate welfare and security for all its members. Our approach attempts to revealthe functionality and substance of the Union's enlargement objectives in the area, generically called the WesternBalkans. These goals, which have recently been translated into a strategy, will be achieved in 2025 for Serbiaand Montenegro and for the other countries in a more distant future. Obviously, the European Union is not theonly geopolitical player in the area and, certainly, the proposed objectives are directly or indirectly linked toRussia's regional geopolitical strategy. Thus, we show that in this enlargement process we are already in thecollision phase of the two macrostates, the European Union and Russia, state entities which have so far preparedstrategies of influence and have also undertaken approaches of strategic anchoring in the Balkan region. Thepresent paper focuses on the geopolitics of the two powers, which is already in progress and produces effectsin the Balkan bloc. Given that the Balkan bloc is more a strategic security area than an economic pulse, thecentering of the two forces will materialize according to the interests of security and socio-political stability. Itis to bementioned that the European Union will usually bet on the strengths of the six Balkan bloc states andRussia on their weaknesses, even more, on the Union's cumbersome response mechanism. If Serbia andMontenegro have a horizon in 2025, Northern Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo willremain in this dispute for a longer period of time.

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