04 Dec 2017
External Publications

Serbia’s cooperation with China, the European Union, Russia and the United States of America

Since 2000, Serbia has undergone a halting yet persistent reintegration into the global economy. However, Serbian foreign policy currently faces a dilemma, as (at least) four separate powers are vying for influence within the country. This study examines Serbia’s foreign policies towards the European Union (EU), the United States (US), Russia, and China, in particular examining the influence of each power with regard to foreign aid, trade, investment and security. Our analysis shows that each partner of Serbia has their own specific interest and comparative advantage in the country, with the EU focusing primarily on rule of law, aid, and increasing investment, the US on security, Russia on energy and foreign policy support, and China on infrastructure and markets. The scale of cooperation is divergent, however, and the EU accession process has pushed the EU to primus inter pares for the Serbian government. The demarcation across activities, however, means that Serbia may be able to keep its non-aligned status in the short-term. Unfortunately, the country is in an unstable equilibrium, as continued progress towards EU accession means that it will eventually have to sacrifice some independence in foreign affairs. The role of the EU in the coming years will be to emphasise the economic and security benefits that come with EU accession, while acknowledging that Serbia has its own cultural and historical links that need tending to.

"Serbia’s cooperation with China, the European Union, Russia and the United States of America" is a study by Christopher A. Hartwell and Katarzyna W. Sidło commissioned by the European Parliament.