THINK Initiative project

How can the political and economic impact of China’s involvement in the Western Balkans be addressed by the countries of the region, as well as by the EU?

In cooperation with WebuildEurope THINK Initiative GmbH, an Austrian think-tank and founder of the project, CEP was participating the in the implementation of the THINK Initiative project, a Pan-European initiative with the goal to develop comprehensive European strategies towards the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

CEP’s role was to propose strategy recommendations for EU and Western Balkan (WB) political and business decision-makers to better position themselves in relation to the BRI. To this end, the research assessed the nature and impact of the Chinese involvement in the region and analyses WB-China political and economic relations in the context of the region’s EU accession process.

The purpose of the research was therefore to:

  • Analyze the development of political relations between the WB countries and China and assess opportunities, risks, and challenges for regional and national political dynamics.
  • Provide an assessment of China’s investments and loans in the WB and their direct and indirect effects on these countries economic and political situation.
  • Develop recommendations for WB and EU policymakers to improve policy coordination on China-related matters in the WB.

In a policy study, CEP analysed the nature and impact of China’s involvement in the Western Balkans in the context of the region’s EU accession process and provided recommendations for Serbian and EU decision-makers.

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