The Western Balkans will be in a greater Focus of the Joe Biden Administration

Deputy Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Josip Brkic, assessed that the inauguration of the new President of the United States of America (USA), Joe Biden, is indeed occurring in an unexpected environment, unprecedented in recent history.

“Fifty states within the USA are on the stand by. We are witnessing high iron fences, police officers, and the National Guard with the long pipes, so that environment shows the priority of the new American president will be to heal wounds within an apparently deeply divided society of the USA. I believe that it will be the focus of his work as a responsible politician,” Brkic said for Fena news agency.

On the other hand, Brkic believes that it takes some time to make significant progress in foreign policy because it is necessary to arrange the administration who will deal with it.

“They have to go through hearings in Congress, which takes time, so only when people get assigned, that is, the whole machinery who will deal with US foreign policy, we can expect them to focus on global partners, such as China in terms of trade, the traditional political rivalry with Russia, the security threats defined by the USA from certain countries, and at the same time the covid-19 pandemic that hit the entire globe, as well as the USA,” says Brkic.

When asked whether the Balkans will be among the high priorities of the new US president, Brkic said that it is possible and certain that the new US administration will deal more intensively with the Western Balkans, but from Washington’s point of view and perspective in the context of political stability, economic development and security stability at last.

“Washington’s fundamental partner is Brussels, ie the European Union (EU), and I personally expect that this relation synergy, which was not identical in the recent period, will be at a slightly higher level of understanding between Brussels and Washington, because, as I said, Washington expects Brussels will be the one to take more responsibility for the Western Balkans, ‘the closed garden of the EU’, and Washington will traditionally follow it”, states Brkic.

He adds that in the context of the Western Balkans, especially BiH, he expects the US to be more engaged within the North Atlantic integrations, ie NATO alliance, ‘us to be mutually active, and for the US to be the supporter of the idea of alliance expansion in which he deeply believes.’

Brkic emphasizes that there is also a thesis that the new administration will deal with BiH in the context of a new constitutional organization, a new internal political system in BiH, but as he is convinced, no move will be made without the EU partner. This move will not be made if there is no internal consensus, primarily with all three constituent peoples, ie their political representatives.

“I do not think that, at least in the near future of 2021, BiH as such will be at the top of the list of priorities of the new administration, but is it sure that the Western Balkans, and thus BiH will be in a greater focus of interest of the new administration,” Brkic concluded.

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