UDC 327(44:497)
Biblid: 0543-3657, 71 (2020)
Vol. 71, No 1179-1180, pp. 95-118
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18485/iipe_mp.2020.71.1179_80.5

Original scientific paper
Received: 17 Aug 2020
Accepted: 17 Sep 2020

FRENCH (GEO)STRATEGY FOR THE WESTERN BALKANS: A PATH ALREADY TRACED OR A PATH BEING TRACED?

Kopanja Mihajlo (Autor je istraživač-pripravnik u Institutu za međunarodnu politiku i privredu), mihajlo.kopanja@diplomacy.bg.ac.rs

With the publication of the short technical note titled “The French Strategy for the Western Balkans“ in April of 2019, it seems that after more than half a century, France has decided to regain its influence in the Balkans. By stating that French president Emmanuel Macron desires to formulate a genuine strategy with a concrete set of measures, the paper observes the stated document through the theoretical stipulations of the strategy. Through conceptualizations of the strategy and grand strategy, and with considerations of the place of geostrategy between these concepts, the paper determines that although the text of the note fulfills the necessary elements to be labeled as a strategy, there are discrepancies between the will of France and the objectives, ways and means formulated within the document. Therefore, the paper concludes that the French Strategy for the Western Balkans represents a traced path of French action that could lead to a reformulation of their strategy in the future.

Keywords: Western Balkans, France, strategic studies, strategy, grand strategy, geostrategy