The joint BiEPAG discussion The geopolitics of energy: The #WesternBalkans' green transition challenge focused on the broader energy transition dynamics and geopolitics in the Western Balkans, the complex interplay between Russian, Chinese, and Western interests, local politics, and environmental considerations, was held in Brussels on October 23rd, as an in-person dialogue organized in cooperation with the European Policy Centre.
The results and findings of the BiEPAG's comprehensive study on the geopolitics of the green energy transition in the Western Balkans and the Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Serbia country reports, which draw from research, a regional public opinion survey, and extensive fieldwork across the region.
The country reports from this comprehensive BiEPAG research project were presented by BiEPAG's researchers and panellists, Florian Bieber (BiEPAG Coordinator, Professor of Southeast European History and Politics, University of Graz), Marika Djolai (BiEPAG Member, Lecturer, Department of Peace Studies and International Development, University of Bradford), Donika Emini (BiEPAG Member, Director at Civikos Platform), Vujo Ilic (Research Fellow, Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade), Tena Prelec (BiEPAG Member, Assistant Professor, Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS SEE), University of Rijeka & Research Associate, LSEE-Research on Southeastern Europe, LSE), and Corina Stratulat (Head of the European Politics and Institutions Programme, European Policy Centre).
The Bosnian research suggests that foreign actors are more a symptom than cause for BiH’s slow #energytransition. Complicated administrative & legal frameworks joined by corruption and clientelism are key obstacles for reaching net-zero by 2050. Find it at the following link: https://shorturl.at/vJNY6
Referring to the Bosnian country report, one of the authors Marika Djolai pointed out that China saw an opportunity to get into the energy markets in Bosnia Herzegovina. However, #Bosnia’s legislative system is too weak to force Chinese companies to do good on their investments & improve Bosnia and Herzegovina infrastructure.
The Serbia study underscores the pivotal role of EU and foreign actors in shaping Serbia’s energy future and offers recommendations for aligning national strategies with European energy transition objectives.
Vujo Ilic, who was engaged on the research for the Serbian country report, shared that there is a growing pro-Russia and China attitude in Republic of Serbia, although Russian and Chinese investments are harming the environment. When it comes to the green transition, he believes that Serbians know they should look at the EU.
When addressing the Kosovo report, Donika Emini shared her observation from the research that because coal is very cheap, it's hard to move away from it. She explained that Kosovo said no to gas to avoid imports from illiberal countries, but there is now an ongoing debate about whether this decision was a good idea.
If you are interested for more details on the topic of 𝘎𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘌𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘺 𝘛𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯 𝘉𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘢𝘯𝘴 you can find all the the current and the upcoming policy briefs, recommendations and infographics from this BiEPAG's all-encompassing research project published at https://biepag.eu/geopolitics-and-energy-transition/.