BIRN Wins Four EU Investigative Journalism Awards

The 2017 regional scheme of the EU awarding investigative journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey, for the best investigative stories published in 2016, has come to an end.

The three-year award scheme established by the European Commission following the EU Enlargement strategy, aimed at monitoring the reform processes and keeping alive the historic momentum towards EU accession, has thus been concluded.

This year, BIRN won four awards, in KosovoSerbiaMacedonia, and Albania.

The outcome of the three-year scheme, implemented in 2015, 2016 and 2017, has been 64 awards for investigative stories produced by 88 journalists across the region.

The winning stories were selected from a total of 679 nominations.

The organisers noted the prominent place BIRN won for itself over the three years of the award scheme.

“Balkan Investigative Journalism Network (BIRN) and centers for investigative journalism (CIN) operating in several countries of the region were featured prominently among the awarded investigative stories (receiving a total of 18 out of 64 prizes awarded). It points to the role of independent, non-profit investigative journalism centers and networks in production of quality investigative journalism in the region”, the organisers wrote in the press release.

European Commission

The European Commission represents the interests of the EU as a whole. It proposes new legislation to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and it ensures that EU law is correctly applied by member countries.

The Commission’s other main roles are to set objectives and priorities for action, manage and implement EU policies and the budget, enforce European law (jointly with the Court of Justice, and to represent the EU outside of Europe.


The Commission supports BIRN Hub’s Regional Reporting on Transitional Justice Issues Project.

BIRN Kosovo

The European Commission Liaison Office supports Kosovo’s ambitious reform agenda. More than 280 EU-funded projects managed by the EC Liaison Office are currently being carried out across a wide range of sectors, regions and cities in Kosovo.

The EU assistance is focused on fulfilment of the EU political criteria, including strengthening the rule of law and support for public administration reform, the communities, culture, media and youth, among many other issues.

The European Union is a donor to BIRN Kosovo’s public service monitoring programme.

BIRN Serbia

As a part of the EU-financed programme, Strengthening Media Freedom, this project intends to raise professional standards in journalism through conducting fact-based and accurate investigative reporting on various issues recognized as key generators of corruption.

BIRN Serbia is implementing a project Strengthening the role of the media in securing the rule of law within the EU-financed programme, Strengthening Media Freedom.

The programme seeks to strengthen the rule of law and freedom of expression by:

  • raising professional standards in journalism
  • supporting fact-based, accurate investigative reporting
  • improving the quality and relevance of media products

Web: Official web site

The Austrian Development Agency (ADA)

The Austrian Development Agency, ADA, implements the Austrian Development Cooperation’s bilateral programs and projects, which support countries in Africa, Asia, Central America and Southeastern and Eastern Europe as they work to obtain sustainable social, economic and democratic development.

In Southeast Europe, the ADA aims to promote private sector development to generate employment and income.

It works to harness synergies with the Austrian private sector and industry, and devotes particular attention to mobilising youth.

The agency’s projects assist in modernising the educational systems, bringing higher education and vocational training into line with European standards and labour market requirements.

In addition, the ADA is committed to advancing rule of law and civil society as well as measures to combat human trafficking.

The Austrian Development Agency is a donor to BIRN Kosovo’s media production programme.


Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is a private, grantmaking foundation based in Flint, Michigan, USA.

The foundation funds in four programme areas: civil society, environment, Flint area and pathways out of poverty.

The foundation’s civil society programme seeks to strengthen philanthropy and the nonprofit sector as vital vehicles for increasing civic engagement and improving communities and societies.


The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is an institutional donor to BIRN Hub, and supports its Sustainable Journalism Training, Publishing and Debating 2012-2013.

BIRN Kosovo

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is a donor to BIRN Kosovo’s Public Service Monitoring programme.

Web: Official web site

Community Building Mitrovica (CBM)

Community Building Mitrovica is a local NGO operating in the field of peace and community building in the wider region of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo. The overall aim of CBM is to facilitate contact and dialogue between citizens in the Mitrovica municipality.

The staff of CBM are devoted citizens – both Serbs and Albanians – who grew up in the region and want to restore the previous confidence and even friendship that war and politics have destroyed.

By supporting many concrete projects which address the direct needs of the local communities, CBM contributes in a modest way to this aim. The work of past years has gained the organisation a strong reputation on both sides of the Ibar.

CBM, which was founded in 2001, works in the following fields: media, culture, youth, women, minorities, dialogue, and return of refugees and IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons).

CBM projects are open to members of all communities living in Mitrovica and beyond. CBM often cooperates with other NGOs, helps out with local initiatives and works with local governmental institutions and international organisations in order to initiate, develop and implement activities for the benefit of the communities in Mitrovica and beyond.

CBM partners with BIRN Kosovo on the following programmes:
-Monitoring of public services
-Research and publications

CBM partners with BIRN Kosovo on the following projects:
-Court monitoring and reporting on police and justice issues
-Support for the implementation of the RAE strategy (EU SIMARES)


Free Press Unlimited, FPU

Free Press Unlimited works to ensure that reliable news and information are and remain available to people across the globe, especially in the countries struggling with freedom of press.

By supporting local media professionals and journalists, Free Press Unlimited helps to enable as many people as
possible to gain and keep access to the information they require to survive and develop.

Free Press Unlimited is active in over forty countries, in those areas where its help is needed the most. In these areas, Free Press Unlimited focuses on strengthening the capacity of local media professionals and media organisations. Together with these partners, we create room for people to speak freely, debate social issues and find out what is going on in their immediate environment.

In each area, FPU works together with local journalists, media pioneers and media organisations – which can make a difference. Free Press Unlimited supports these change agents in the development of their knowledge and skills.

Free Press Unlimited supports BIRN Kosovo’s research, publication and training programmes with a focus on Gazeta Jeta ne Kosove.

Access: Website

Institute for Advanced Studies (GAP)

The Institute for Advanced Studies is a leading Kosovo think tank.

GAP’s main purpose is to attract professionals by creating a professional research and development environment commonly found in similar institutions in Western countries. This includes providing Kosovars with an opportunity to research, develop and implement projects that strengthen Kosovo society.

A priority of the institute is to mobilise professionals to address the country’s pressing economic, political and social challenges. GAP’s main objectives are to bridge the gap between government and people, and to bridge the gap between problems and solutions.

GAP partners with BIRN Kosovo on the following programmes:
-Media Production
-Research and publications

Together with BIRN Kosovo, GAP Institute is part of the Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for
Sustainable Development (KOSID).


International Visegrad Fund

The International Visegrad Fund is an international organization based in Bratislava founded by the governments of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Poland, and the Slovak Republic, in Štiřín, Czech Republic, on June 9, 2000.

The purpose of the fund is to facilitate and promote the development of closer cooperation among citizens and institutions in the region as well as between the V4 region and other countries, especially the Western Balkans and countries of the Eastern Partnership.

The fund does so through grant support of common cultural, scientific and educational projects, youth exchanges, cross-border projects and tourism promotion, and through individual mobility programs (scholarships, residencies).

BIRN Kosovo

Since BIRN Kosovo sees it vital to deal with sustainable development issues in Kosovo the project “Sustainable economy and environment for sustainable development in Kosovo” supported by International Visegrad Fund will serve as a valuable tool to identify economic problems in Kosovo.

Moreover, the foreign partners of this project will offer their important insights on the economic and environmental aspects of their countries, as key features of the Visegrad alliance. These will serve as comparison points to the situation in Kosovo, a country vying for EU accession, for the purposes of televised reports to be produced.


Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS)

The Kosovo Foundation for Open Society is a local non-governmental organisation and part of the international network of philanthropic foundations financed by George Soros.

The foundation works with government and civil society to strengthen capacities, improve implementation of existing policies and develop new strategic directions. It does so both through developing and implementing its own projects, and by supporting Kosovar organisations that require both financial and operational assistance.

KFOS supports BIRN Kosovo with the following programmes and projects:

National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.

The NED, funded largely by the US Congress, provides grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals.

NED is dedicated to fostering the growth of a wide range of democratic institutions abroad, including political parties, trade unions, free markets and business organizations, as well as the many elements of a vibrant civil society that ensure human rights, an independent media, and the rule of law.

The National Endowment for Democracy supports BIRN in the following programmes and projects:

In the Balkan Region

Improving online reporting skills with special focus on Macedonia early elections, Macedonia name dispute and Albania local elections

In Bosnia and Herzegovina

In previous years BIRN BiH has received grants from the National Endowment of Democracy for the
Radio Justice Project and the TV Justice Project.

In Kosovo

The National Endowment for Democracy is a donor to BIRN Kosovo’s media production programme.

In Serbia

Since 1998, the National Endowment for Democracy has supported numerous BIRN Serbia projects, including most recently the Serbian Government Performance Evaluation.