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Georgia's highlanders against hydropower

As the Georgian government moves ahead with its plans for increasing the country’s hydropower capacity, local communities are being sidelined in the process of compensation payments.

'Cooperation', but not as we know it - Ukrainian civil society resists efforts to be co-opted by big agro

The controversial Ukrainian agribusiness giant Myronivsky Hliboproduct (MHP) tries to handle community relations by putting publicity spin on the outcomes of a long overdue discussion with civil society.

[Campaign update] EBRD confirms negative impacts of Albanian hydropower plants on people and the environment

It’s been a hot summer all over the Balkans. A heatwave called Lucifer struck Albania, drying up its river and causing numerous forest fires. Since Albania relies 90% on hydropower for its electricity, the drought resulted in a significant drop in production, forcing Albania to import 80 percent of it electricity.

Bulgaria's Struma motorway becomes test case for European Commission's commitment to EU nature protection law

With crude manipulations, the Bulgarian government is trying to push through a contended motorway route that would damage the country’s biodiversity hotspot in breach of EU law and international conventions. It expects that the European Commission will sit, watch and pay for it.

Systematic shortcomings will deprive people affected by Georgian dam of compensation

An assessment of livelihoods of people to be affected by the Nenskra hydropower plant in Georgia contains mistakes that will lead to significant losses for locals.

The true colours of Svaneti - A festival in the stunning Georgian mountains

Despite the remote location, the culture festival We Are Svaneti brought together people from three continents and helped young Svans to become aware of their communities’ unique traditions.

EU funds in central and eastern Europe: 'partnership principle' still not translating to 'partnership in practice'

As a civil society organisation operating across central and eastern Europe, Bankwatch views its role as a watchdog on how effectively the EU funds are being spent in our countries seriously – with billions of euros on the line, we need to ensure that spending decisions are taken democratically, with transparency to the fore and with stakeholders having a real say in how scarce public investment money is being deployed.

Bulgarian government wants to limit civil rights for the sake of EU funding

With new legislation, Bulgaria’s government is trying to limit inconvenient civil engagement in projects it deems strategic.

Way off track in Riga - EU funds at risk for controversial tram project

In a relatively small country like Latvia, the general public is used to having its say and being able to influence things in the public realm – our opinion usually means something, and access to decision makers and communication with government officials is commonplace. Latvians, though, are not like the French, revolution is not in our DNA, and protests or strikes happen very rarely in Latvia.

Namibian smelter expansion risks deepening environmental and health problems

As it nears two years of a Bankwatch visit to the copper smelter in Namibia and the uncovering of an unsafe arsenic disposal site, a planned expansion has revealed so far undisclosed environmental information.

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