THE EU–SERBIA–CHINA TRIANGLE – an analysis of how China’s investments in Serbia affect the process of Serbia’s political EU integration
For the past few years, Serbia has been a victim of a paradoxical situation. In order to become politically integrated into the European Union, it has to successfully undergo democratisation process, while its cooperation with an authoritarian state like China poses a risk of having the democratisation process prevented. Therefore, this thesis has aimed to investigate the impact of the Chinese investments in Serbia on the process of Serbia’s political EU integration, and to analyse whether the dialogue between Serbia and the EU has become more difficult with China’s economic and thereby political interference in the country. The theoretical framework has been determined by theories on political conditionality, coming or not coming to Serbia along with the EU’s and China’s development assistance. By using qualitative text analysis as the research method and by analysing Serbia’s annual progress reports and AidData’s global Chinese development finance dataset, it has been found out that, even though there seems to be a weak positive correlation between China’s investments in Serbia and the process of Serbia’s political EU integration, there is no clear strong relationship between them.
Autocratisation, China, Chinese Investments, Democratisation, EU Enlargement, EU Membership, European Integration, Political Conditionality, Political Copenhagen Criteria, Serbia