Strategic Communications Capability Building in the Western Balkans

March 11th 2020 - 09:00

New paper out now! To read, click here.

The strengthening of strategic communication capabilities in the states of the Western Balkans is of crucial importance for the strengthening of regional and European security. The Western Balkans StratCom Game, executed by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, with the support of the Austrian Ministry of Defence, has sought to identify the course of action and provide recommendations for the further strengthening of capabilities in the states of the Western Balkans1, vis a vis regional and international stability and security.

This paper describes the results of the Western Balkans StratCom Game.
In this context, experts from the states of the Western Balkans, the European External Action Service and the Austrian Ministry of Defence convened in Skopje, the Republic of North Macedonia on the occasion of the expert workshop the Western Balkans StratCom Game, in October 2019.

The Western Balkans StratCom Game was utilized in the process of conducting an in- depth analysis of the political, economic, religious, vulnerabilities, cultural and security vulnerabilities that the states of the Western Balkans are facing, identified the types of action as well as the level on which the actions are to be taken.

This HCSS paper describes the how the Western Balkans StratCom Game was executed, and it elaborates on the processes of decision making and prioritization in the game. It shows that the states of the Western Balkans have the capacity to recognize the vulnerabilities they are facing, foster regional discussion and potentially cooperate with international and multinational actors in the processes of tailoring a course of action to prevent, counter or react to said vulnerabilities. It additionally provides a set of concrete conclusions and recommendations focussing on a concrete course for further action.

Download the paper here.

Michel Rademaker is the deputy Director of HCSS. He has fifteen years of hands-on experience as an officer in The Royal Netherlands Army, where he held various military operational and staff posts and also served a term in former Yugoslavia. He has a masters degree obtained at the University of Tilburg. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Rademaker went on to work at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as a project and program manager and senior policy advisor on security topics for ten years. Eg. as NATO RTO project leader, he and his team developed serious gaming assessment methods and conducted several assessments of security technologies, and worked on numerous strategic security topics.