Kosovo’s involuntary involvement via the Washington Agreement in the thorny issue of Jerusalem’s status threatens to permanently damage its relations with the Arab and Muslim world.
The proximity of the Western Balkans to the European Union bestows it with particular geopolitical significance and in recent years, an increasing number of states have begun increasing their influence there. They include China, Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait, and Israel.
Since the turn of the century, Western Balkan countries have made significant changes to their internal policies and practices with the aim of joining the European Union, NATO, or both.
No external player is offering a more attractive alternative. But the Euro-Atlantic integration process has also slowed down, or even halted, in many cases, and has lost some of its appeal to a population of 18 million people in the Western Balkans, shrinking as friends and family move abroad for a better life.