LORDS

Beyond Brexit: the UK and the Balkans inquiry launched

24 July 2017

The International Relations Committee launches its inquiry into the UK and the Balkans, with a particular focus on the UK's approach to the region beyond Brexit. The Committee is seeking written submissions by Friday, 15 September.

Scope of the inquiry

Since the end of the conflicts of the 1990s, the Balkans has remained a region of instability on the borders of the EU. To date, most of the UK's policy towards the region has been tied up with the EU's. As the UK approaches Brexit, there is an opportunity to consider the importance of the region to the UK and to reassess British engagement. The Committee's inquiry will consider how the geopolitical situation in the region is evolving and what challenges need to be addressed, their consequences for the UK and what Government policy ought to be in response.

Call for evidence

We are looking for submissions about how the UK should engage with the Balkans as we approach Brexit, and beyond. This will include questions of how other international actors are seeking to make their influence felt in the region, and what social, political and economic challenges the Balkans are facing.

The call for evidence includes a number of questions; submissions need not address all of them. We strongly advise that written evidence is no more than three pages long.

Questions

  • What are the UK's interest – direct and indirect – in the Balkans? How are these likely to evolve in the near future?
  • Are some countries of the region building closer military-industrial links with Russia? If so, what are the consequences for NATO?
  • What are the key political and governance challenges facing the countries of the Balkans, and what policy options are open to the UK to support stability in the region?
  • What action should the UK take to tackle corruption and organised crime in the region? What impact is this having in the UK?
  • What are the key economic challenges facing the countries of the region? Is there a constructive role to be played by the UK?
  • What are the implications of Brexit for UK policy, influence and standing in the region?
  • What impact, if any, has the UK’s decision to leave the EU had on the countries of the region?

Timeline

Written evidence is sought by Friday 15 September 2017. Public hearings will be held from September to October 2017. The Committee aims to publish its report to the House, with recommendations, in December 2017.

Further information

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