Lazarski University, Warsaw, Poland
THE EU PRIORITIES IN THE WESTERN BALKANS AND POLAND’S RAISON D’ETAT
There is a noticeable increase in Poland’s engagement with the Western Balkans. This research aims to explore the compatibility of the EU priorities in the region and Poland’s national interests. Embedded in the concept of raison d’etat and the realist theoretical framework, this paper traces the evolution of the EU and Poland’s approaches towards the region in the pursuit of the level of symbiosis between the two players. The research explores the EU strategic approach towards the Western Balkans, charts a timeline of the Polish involvement dynamics in the region, and compares the arguments behind the strategic nature of the Western Balkans. The findings recognize the incorporation of Poland’s priorities into the EU strategy towards the region. However, there is still uncertainty as to the extent, to which the Western Balkans have been included into Poland’s highest state interests. The Western Balkans can still become a victim of the internal Polish clashes over the main foreign policy priorities. The continuity of the Law and Justice engagement with the region by a non-Law and Justice government and the preservation of the pace of engagement will determine, whether the Western Balkans indeed become a part of the Polish raison d’etat.
BULGARIA’S SECURITY AFTER 30 YEARS
This paper provides an overview of the Bulgarian security concerns over the last thirty years. Without claiming to be complete and all-embracing, the paper grasps the notion of security from both internal and external perspectives. While deliberating on the main security challenges in the context of the formal membership in the political and economic institutions of the Western world, the paper argues that the most tangible security threats for Bulgaria are internal and are related to the problems of organized crime and state capture.