29 Dec 17 ANNUAL ROUNDUP FOR 2017

From the Balkans, With Love

As 2017 draws to an end, we bring you this year’s most read articles.

Milos Damnjanovic
European Union heads of state and government gather for a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels on March 10. Photo: Francois Lenoir/AP

Top of the list is Dejan Anastasijevic’s bitter-sweet Letter to the EU from the Western Balkans, complaining that the EU no longer wants its poor cousins and explaining what a mess this has created.

Among the most read articles are our investigations about the Balkan weapons trade, which has helped fuel current Middle-East conflicts.

Not least, our readers were interested in a mix of stories related to legacies of the past and the current state of freedom and democracy in the region.

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Letter to the EU From the Western Balkans

Fourteen years on from Thessaloniki, we have realised you don’t really want us – and have started to behave accordingly.

Read more: Letter to the EU From the Western Balkans (March 13, 2017)


Post-Yugoslav ‘Common Language’ Declaration Challenges Nationalism

A declaration that Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian are all variations of the same language has annoyed conservatives, but received a warmer welcome from the people who speak it.

Read more: Post-Yugoslav ‘Common Language’ Declaration Challenges Nationalism (March 30, 2017)


 The Pentagon's $2.2 Billion Soviet Arms Pipeline Flooding Syria

The Pentagon is on a spending spree as it scrabbles to amass vast quantities of Soviet-style weapons and ammunition. But it’s running into problems sourcing them, and is using misleading legal documents to disguise their final destination: Syria.

Read more: The Pentagon's $2.2 Billion Soviet Arms Pipeline Flooding Syria (September 12, 2017) 


ISIS Threatens Terror Campaign in the Balkans

So-called Islamic State has vowed to decapitate ‘infidels’ and kill Serbs, Croats and Muslim ‘traitors’ in the Balkans in a new threat to the region published in the Bosnian version of the jihadists’ magazine.

Read more: ISIS Threatens Terror Campaign in the Balkans (June 8, 2017)


Protesters in Serbia Denounce Vucic's Poll Victory

Thousands of people took to the streets of Belgrade and other cities in Serbia to protest against the victory in Sunday's presidential election of Aleksandar Vucic, claiming it marked the beginning of a 'dictatorship'.

Read more: Protesters in Serbia Denounce Vucic's Poll Victory (April 3, 2017)


Putin’s Old Moldova Map Alarms Romania

Vladimir Putin has annoyed Romanians by presenting Moldova’s President Igor Dodon with an ancient map of Moldova that includes chunks of today’s Romania.

Read more: Putin’s Old Moldova Map Alarms Romania (January 18, 2017)


Croatian Island Airport Becomes Pentagon Hub

A small airport on a Croatian island has become an important but unofficial logistical base for Pentagon shipments to the Middle East, likely including arms for Syrian rebels.

Read more: Croatian Island Airport Becomes Pentagon Hub (October 3, 2017)


The Pope Can’t Stop Medjugorje Now

As the Vatican dispatches another papal envoy to the controversial shrine of Medjugorje in Bosnia, a British journalist recalls his first trip there in the 1980s.

Read more: The Pope Can’t Stop Medjugorje Now (March 28, 2017)


Autocracy has Fallen in Macedonia - Nationalism Has Not

The VMRO DPMNE-led nationalist autocracy in Macedonia may be coming to an end - but nationalism itself will remain, embedded in the heart of the political mainstream.

Read more: Autocracy has Fallen in Macedonia - Nationalism Has Not (May 8, 2017)


Birth of Trump Era Divides Balkan Countries

Right-wing Serbs are euphoric while Romanians and Bosniaks are worried. All over the Balkans, governments and people are watching to see what a new era in US diplomacy brings.

Read more: Birth of Trump Era Divides Balkan Countries (January 20, 2017)


Why is the US Probing Serbian Loyalties?

When a top US diplomat accused Serbia of sitting on the fence between Russia and the EU, he really put the cat among the pigeons - but what brought on the sudden demand for fealty?

Read more: Why is the US Probing Serbian Loyalties? (October 27, 2017)


Macedonia Has Become the Casablanca of the Balkans

The brief diplomatic spat between Serbia and Macedonia was both a proverbial storm in a teacup – but also much more than that.

Read more: Macedonia Has Become the Casablanca of the Balkans (September 5, 2017)

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