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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.


Legal complaint lodged to save protected Bulgarian Gorge from destructive motorway

Brussels/Sofia, July 6th – A legal complaint submitted today to the European Commission by NGOs [1] alleges that the construction of a controversial EU-funded motorway is already breaking EU nature laws, and warns that completing the final section through Kresna Gorge nature reserve would be catastrophic for protected animals and plants in the region. [2] The complaint calls on the Commission to investigate breaches of EU law, and could result in the Bulgarian government being taken to the European Court of Justice, and hefty fines.

Illegal damage and threat of destruction of the Kresna Gorge, Bulgaria - full complaint

This complaint to the EU Commission was lodged to save the protected Bulgarian Kresna Gorge from a destructive motorway that received EU funding. It alleges that the construction of the controversial motorway is already breaking EU nature laws, and warns that completing the final section through Kresna Gorge nature reserve would be catastrophic for protected animals and plants in the region.

A summary of the complaint is available too. Download the summary.

Illegal damage and threat of destruction of the Kresna Gorge, Bulgaria - complaint summary

This is a summary of a complaint to the EU Commission that was lodged to save the protected Bulgarian Kresna Gorge from a destructive motorway that received EU funding. It alleges that the construction of the controversial motorway is already breaking EU nature laws, and warns that completing the final section through Kresna Gorge nature reserve would be catastrophic for protected animals and plants in the region.

Commission pitch for Europe's future funding must be a People's Budget

Brussels - In advance of Wednesday’s release by the European Commission of a reflection paper on the future of Europe’s finances, a growing movement of civil society across Europe has launched its own call for a reformed EU budget that unlocks a positive, people-centered and sustainable future for a new Europe.

Guest post: A win for citizen activism after UNESCO asks Macedonia to stop all construction projects on Lake Ohrid

After a field visit to the Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, the UNESCO requested the Macedonian government to halt construction projects in the area, one of which is supported by the European Bank For Reconstruction and Development.


Locals oppose dam that is set to endanger critical fish habitat in Bosnia-Herzegovina

We are passing through the canyon of the river Vrbas, in north-west Bosnia-Herzegovina. I am looking through a car window, mouth wide open in awe. While I look up to the rocky, edgy peaks hundreds of meters above and down to the heavenly blue river, I am wondering why anyone would want to dam this river, flood the canyon and destroy its beauty.

Then again, rather than seeing beauty, hydropower companies see wasted water resources, or in the words of a Bosnian official “euros flowing away in vain.”


Babino Selo HPP Bosnia-Herzegovina

River defenders gather forces in Georgia

This week, activists from across the world are meeting in Tbilisi to share their experiences of resisting hydropower projects and the money that supports them.


Bulgaria risks unnecessary breach of nature laws, threatening EUR 800 million of EU funding

The building of an EU-funded motorway linking Bulgaria and Greece, through Kresna Gorge – a stunning wildlife haven protected by EU nature laws – would be a disaster for nature and local people, and could result in up to €781 million being returned to the European Commission, claim Bulgarian and international NGO experts.

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