Malign Influence in the Western Balkans

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This paper explores the methods through which malign influence is employed and how it shapes the contemporary political landscape in the region. Additionally, it examines the strategies the European Union currently utilizes and might employ in the future to counteract this influence. In particular, the paper provides an indepth understanding of the region’s intricate geopolitical position and delves into the key issues on a country by-country basis where malign influence is manifested. It identifies the most susceptible countries while simultaneously unveiling the factors that contribute to their resilience. It starts by taking a closer look into the strategies of malign influence in the Western Balkans, continues with the analysis of the geopolitical response of the EU, and questions the effects of its immediate response after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The paper particularly elaborates on the importance of the Kosovo Serbia dialogue given that this issue represents one of the most important entry points for Russia in the region. The final chapter presents one of the policies in which the malign influence of third parties was most clearly manifested and caused the trend of significant deviations from the EU’s positions in the WB6.

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Malign Influence in the Western Balkans

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