The Albanian Geopolitical Factor in the Western Balkans
IDM, 2020 – Over the past few years, there has been increasing talk about the idea of “Greater nations” such as Greater Albania or Greater Serbia, hindering good neighbourly relations and regional development in the Western Balkans. Indeed, to foster regional cooperation and move forward with Euro-Atlantic integration processes, the ideas of “Greater” nations must be left behind.
Instead, this survey report explores the potential of Albanian populations to positively influence developments such as stability and development not only in the countries with Albanian populations but in the entire region. In this way, the “Albanian geopolitical factor” could have the potential to serve as an anchor of socio-economic development and a pillar for Euro-Atlantic integration processes in the Western Balkans as a whole. Moreover, it could serve as an example of how to counter the negative narratives stemming from nationalism and overcome the destructive potential of “Greater nations” ideas.
This survey report analyses the role and potential of Albanian geopolitical factor from Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo. In each of these countries, ethnic Albanian political, cultural, and economic elite was asked to share their views and perceptions on the potential of Albanian actors as a stabilising factor with regards to regional stability, good neighbourly relations, and to drive much-needed development, democratisation and integration processes. As the first of its kind, the study aims to create a 2030 Roadmap for the Albanian geopolitical factor driven by European values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
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This report was prepared in the framework of the project ‘Europeanisation Beyond Process’ supported by the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE). The views and opinions expressed in this survey report are those of the respondents and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the authors or the organisations involved in drafting this report. Findings and conclusions, due to the small sample size and homogeneous sample, should be used only as a starting point for new research that further explores the concepts discussed in this report.