The coronavirus outbreak added more uncertainty to the future of the Balkans. The emergency has offered governments with autocratic tendencies a pretext to further downplay already weak democratic institutions. While scheduled elections in both Serbia and North Macedonia had to be postponed, the outbreak eventually sparked a political crisis in Kosovo. Aid support has arrived from the European Union, China and Russia, making the Balkans once again a fertile ground for geopolitical competition. However, the EU path has further accelerated during the emergency, with the introduction of a new methodology for enlargement. Last but not least, the Covid-19 pandemic could have a negative impact on migrants stuck along the Balkan route. What is the impact of the pandemic on these fragile democracies? What role for the EU and other international actors? Will this emergency prompt any major change in regional geopolitical balances?
Conflicts, Pandemics and Peacebuilding: New Perspectives on Security Sector Reform in the MENA Region