The EUs challenge to maintain its linkage to Serbia

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Stefan Tunic
This master’s thesis investigates the challenges and complications which the EU faces in the process of the formation and sustainment of the political linkage between them and Serbia. The thesis delves into the recent intensified influence of China as well, and analyzes the possibilities of China’s influence having an impact on the Serbia-EU relations. 
The main point of departure for the master’s thesis is based on the recent developments in Serbia’s foreign relations the past few years. At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Serbian president made a statement, where he said that European solidarity is a fairytale, and the only true hope for Serbia is through Chinese partnership. This statement caused massive controversy, and led many to believe that Serbia’s path towards becoming an EU-member was cancelled. This sort of bold statement, could be based on the critical situation Serbia was in at the time, but then again, Covid-19 could have caused the statement, or it just simply revealed the genuine view of Serbia. 
The thesis is set to answer the question “To what extent has Serbia’s behavior and China’s growing influence become a challenge for the EU’s sustainment of their political linkage to Serbia?”
The analytical course of action of the thesis is to analyze the EU’s and China’s linkage and compare how they are trying to gain influence in Serbia, and how through their gained influence they can navigate Serbia’s actions and behavior by utilizing their leverage.  The thesis examines the EU’s way of framing and securitizing Serbia’s current behavior, authoritarian tendencies and the growing influence of China in Serbia and the Western Balkans. Via multiple reports from various EU-institutions, the thesis will uncover statements, evaluations and testimonies which voice concerns and considerations for the growing authority of China in Serbia, and in Europe as well. By analyzing the way, the EU frames the Serbia-China relations, it can then uncover different challenges to the EU in terms of maintaining and strengthening their political linkage to Serbia. Furthermore, by analyzing how the EU and China pursues their foreign relations to Serbia through the different concepts of diplomacy, it can then give a broader look into how exactly the EU and China constructs their political and economic linkages, as well as showing which aspects of the different cooperation with China and the EU that seems to be more appealing for Serbia.    
Publication date28 May 2021
Number of pages43
ID: 413066949