Garčević Speaks at TRT World Forum

On December 2, 2020, Ambassador Vesko Garčević, Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, took part in an expert roundtable as part of TRT World Forum, a premier event that brings together global leaders to grapple with the challenges of our time and contribute to advancing peace, security and prosperity throughout the world.

The session, titled “Great Power Competition in the Balkans,” was chaired by Şener Aktürk, Associate Professor  atKoç University and Senior Fellow at TRT World Research Centre. The other panelists were Ivo Josipović (Former President of Croatia), Dr. Emir Suljagić (International University of Sarajevo), Mr. Marton Ugrosdy (Director of the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary).

During his remarks, Garčević stated that external influence in the Balkans can be favorable or disadvantageous for the establishment of a conducive political landscape for regional stability. He went on to say that there are four major external players – the European Union (EU), the United States, Russia, and China – with a distinctive presence in the region. Their involvement makes enduring, but different consequences for the region’s stability. Over time, with the EU and U.S. both in retreat from the region, Moscow and Beijing appear to have gained ground and presented themselves as a preferred alternative to demands for painful democratic reforms.

Garčević highlighted the role China plays in the Balkans. He said money-short economies in the region are lured by China’s offer of soft loans that are seen by politicians as “easy money.” This type of financial endeavor may have dire political consequences for countries in the region and makes them vulnerable and financially dependent on Beijing.

Details on the panel can be found on TRT World Forum’s website.

During his diplomatic career, Ambassador Vesko Garčević dealt with issues pertinent to European security and NATO for almost 14 years. In 2004, he was posted in Vienna to serve as Ambassador to Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He had been a Montenegro’s Ambassador to NATO from 2010 until 2014 and served as a Montenegro’s National Coordinator for NATO from 2015 until he joined the faculty at the Pardee School. Learn more about him here.