Paper title:
 Chinese Impact in the Western Balkans: the Effect of the Belt and Road Initiative on the EU’s Normative Role
Published in:
Issue 1 (Vol. 28) / 2022
Publishing date:
Göktürk Tüysüzoğlu
China, which shows signs of trying to create an integrated historical bloc, also supports a process that will lead to the consolidation of authoritarian political patterns in parallel with its increasing investments and financial support in the frame of the Belt and Road Initiative. This study argues that China’s approach to the Western Balkans is an extension of the hegemony-building process. It brings the question of geopolitical concern regarding the enlargement strategy of the EU, which is seen as a normative power. Although this concern has been observed much more in the EU, it emphasises the reform process rather than enlargement. This situation, which could also be defined as a stability-democracy dilemma, not only undermines the normative power of the EU but also leads to the consolidation of illiberal regimes.
China, Western Balkans, EU, Hegemony, Illiberal Regimes, 17+1 Cooperation, Differentiated Integration.

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