The states that once formed part of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s experienced war, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, and humanitarian disaster. Economic growth was slow or negative and corruption was the rule, not the exception. The outflow of refugees was much greater than the migration of young people out of the Balkans today.
Protests have been organised in recent days by activists in Tirana, Belgrade and Podgorica against the damage done to the environment by the building of hydro-power plants.
They were staged under the umbrella name Action Weeks for Balkan Rivers, a joint project by various environmental NGOs, with the slogan "Our rivers - no damage!"