Public event

China's emerging footprint in Southeast Europe: Building the Balkan Silk Road

Chinese President XI Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative seeks to expand and secure maritime routes and transport infrastructure networks for China in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The implications are vast and long-term, possibly shifting commercial and geo-economic axes of entire continents. One major investment is The Balkan Silk Road, China’s transport route and logistics corridor in the Balkans, involving Greece, Serbia, Macedonia Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Montenegro. In what way is China's emerging footprint in the region an opportunity for participating countries? What are appropriate responses from European institutions such as the EU Commission and the EBRD?


Jens Bastian is an independent economic consultant and financial sector analyst. From September 2011 to September 2013, Bastian was appointed by the European Commission as a member of the Task Force for Greece in Athens, Greece. His previous professional experience includes working for the European Agency for Reconstruction, Thessaloniki, Greece, Alpha Bank in Athens, Greece, as well as academic positions held at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, U.K., Nuffield College, Oxford and the London School of Economics, London, U.K. Since 2009 Bastian is a senior research associate at ELIAMEP (Hellenic Foundation for Foreign & European Policy) in Athens, Greece.


Genia Kostka is a Fellow at the Hertie School and was Professor of Governance of Energy and Infrastructure before that. Her research and teaching interests are in energy governance, public policy and political economy, with a regional focus on China. Previously, Kostka was an assistant professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and a strategic management consultant for McKinsey & Company in Berlin. She has a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, an MA with specialisations in International Economics and International Development from SAIS Johns Hopkins University and a BSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics. In addition to her many publications, she regularly consults for international organisations, such as the Asian Development Bank, AusAID, GIZ, Oxfam and the World Bank.