Skip to content

Foreign Information Operations in the Western Balkans – Challenges and the way forward

For centuries, the Western Balkans have been an important melting pot of different ethnicities, nationalities and religions in Europe. Even today, foreign actors, such as Russia, Turkey, but also China, try to impose their regional interests. With the help of digital technology and the targeted dissemination of anti-EU narratives and other disinformation look, as well as the exploitation of ethnic and religious tensions through cultural and religious institutions, and increased investment in strategic infrastructure, these actors are trying to destabilize the fragile democracies in this volatile region. And as outlined in a recent study, “disinformation is an endemic and ubiquitous part of politics throughout the Western Balkans, without exception.” Since the region will see two important elections in 2022 – Serbia (April) and Bosnia Herzegovina (October) – during which foreign influence attempts are most likely to increase significantly, the question is where does the region stand today?