The Blue Heart of Europe beats on the Balkan Peninsula: nowhere else on the continent can one find such a tremendous number and variety of pristine, wild rivers. Besides their inherent natural beauty, these rivers are one of the most important hotspots for European biodiversity. However, this unique treasure is threatened. The rivers of the Balkans are to be dammed on a large scale. More than 570 hydropower plants are projected to be built in the next few years – commonly with support of businesses and loans from inside the European Union and beyond. Not even the most striking and valuable river stretches – even if located inside a national park – are to be spared. The Blue Heart of Europe is at risk of a heart attack.