About the Book

At the start of the 21st century, nationality remains central to most people's understanding of identity. But it does not hold the field alone.


It now competes with alternative focuses of loyalty, such as a supernational Europe. Withing national communities, new, smaller communities based on gender and sexual orientation, are challenging the status quo. Our fellows this year explored many of the directions in which the concept of identity is heading.

Identity: The Search for Belonging in a Changing Europe is the product of original research of ten journalists selected from South East Europe to participate in the 2009 programme of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.

Initiated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, this programme responds with financial and professional support to the growing need in the region to foster quality reporting, encourage regional networking amongst journalists and advance balanced coverage on complex issues that are central to the region as well as to the European Union.


Identity: The Search for Belonging in a Changing Europe

Edited by Marcus Tanner
Sarajevo, 2009.

Editorial Team: Marcus Tanner, Gordana Igric, Tom Fuller, Simon Cottrell, Ana Petruseva, Albena Shkodrova, Besar Likmeta, Srecko Latal, Marian Chiriac, Nedjeljko Rudovic.

Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence

An initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and ERSTE Foundation, in cooperation with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

Published in 2009 by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Regional Network, Kosevo 14, 71000 Sarajevo , Bosnia and  Herzegovina.

Designed by Branislava Stefanovic.

Printed in Serbia by Politika A.D.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or stored in any retrieval system of any nature, without the written permission of the copyright holder and the publisher, application for which shall be made to the publisher.

© Robert Bosch Stiftung, ERSTE Foundation and Balkan Investigative Reporting Regional Network 2009

This publication is not for commercial use.


Since the aim of this programme is to tackle the deficit in information and analysis on transitional challenges and opportunities in the Balkans, media outlets in the region, European Union and further afield are encouraged to republish articles.

We have a range of appropriate linked photography which is available in high resolution for print media use.

Translations of articles in local languages are also available on request.

The articles are available for faithful citation and republication free of charge, and we would appreciate that the following conditions are met:

The author is given proper credit and his/her name appears prominently with the article.

The following text appears prominently with the article: "This article was produced as part of the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence"

Information about republication is sent to :

Dragana Zarkovic Obradovic,
Knjeginje Ljubice 12
Belgrade, Serbia
Tel/fax +381 113288 177,
[email protected] ,

or any other member of editorial staff of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network  for our record keeping.


Topic 2009: Identity

The collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989 triggered a frenzied phase of nation-building in Eastern Europe, while some Balkan nations embarked on armed conflicts aimed at strengthening national, religious and cultural identities.


11 Dec 2009 / 12:11

Sweet and sour

Sabina Niksic in Sarajevo
08 Sep 2009 / 10:10

A question of bureaucracy and co-operation

Adrian Mogos
03 Sep 2009 / 09:09

Normal people in abnormal times

Barbara Matejcic
31 Aug 2009 / 10:22

On the road

Maja Hrgovic
27 Aug 2009 / 11:32

The more you know, the less you want to say

Sabina Niksic
24 Aug 2009 / 12:22

Book of Records

Momir Tuduric
21 Aug 2009 / 13:33

A Big Dilemma

Boris Georgievski
05 Aug 2009 / 11:11

Children vs. Adults

Yana Buhrer Tavanier
03 Aug 2009 / 13:20

When you have nothing to say, say nothing

Sabina Niksic
30 Jul 2009 / 10:10

To Berlin via Vranje

Momir Turudic