Garčević Discusses Impact of Far-Right’s Rise in Europe on Western Balkans

Amb. Vesko Garčević

Ambassador Vesko Garčević, Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies,, was recently invited to comment on the upcoming European elections and the potential ramifications of the rise of far-right parties in Europe for the Western Balkans. His insights were featured in a video titled “The right in the EU ‘unbalances’ the Balkans,” broadcast on May 24, and a written article, “Dialog and enlargement – the surge of the right in the EU,” posted on May 27 by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Albanian.

In his commentary, Garčević noted that the upcoming elections will measure the EU’s pulse and likely re-confirm the current popularity of right-wing ideologies. The rise of far-right parties will most probably be reflected in the composition of the new European Parliament. However, the more important question is whether these parties will become a new majority and participate in deciding the future European Commission or remain a considerable minority within the Parliament. This outcome will determine the composition of the Commission and the Parliament’s work in the coming years.

Garčević pointed out that even if the far-right parties cannot constitute a majority in the European Parliament, their rise indicates that they can shape the EU agenda if they continue to make gains at the national level. Since individual member states shape the EU’s work and approach to enlargement, a further rise of the far-right, particularly in France and Germany, may have more profound ramifications for the future of the EU and the enlargement process.

Furthermore, Garčević suggested that this trajectory may affect the Serbia-Kosovo dialog. Due to similar ideologies, many European far-right politicians find the current Serbian government closer to their political views and are prone to support it. Belgrade expects that if the administration in the US changes after the November Presidential elections, a new/old American administration may also lean more towards Serbia. In such a scenario, Garčević cannot exclude the return of the idea of territorial exchange between Kosovo and Serbia.

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