Juliana Koleva

Juliana Koleva has ten years’ experience as a reporter. Currently, she works on the domestic news desk for the daily Bulgarian business newspaper Dnevnik, mainly covering politics and parliament.


Having graduated in public administration, she is particularly interested in civil society issues, the development of the sector, malpractice and relations between NGOs and the authorities.

Some of her work has helped establish common interests between the non-governmental sector and government, and led to the adoption of legislation. For example, her reporting helped convince parliament to pass conflict of interest legislation back in 2009.

Her articles on how proposed new laws would allow for the improper protection of illegally-acquired antiques, saw parliament reject the proposed changes.

Koleva also worked on a civil and media campaign, along with other NGOs and media activists, to protest against attempts to change the law allowing Bulgaria’s special services to obtain uncontrolled access to citizens’ phone calls and internet use without first obtaining permission from the relevant court.

She took first prize in the 2011 fellowship for her investigation into the treatment of asylum seekers in Bulgaria. Koleva revealed that Sofia routinely locked up asylum seekers in detention centres, despite national and EU law banning the practice.

Koleva’s investigation throws doubt on Bulgaria’s ability to treat asylum seekers in accordance with international and national law once the country joins the EU’s passport control free Schengen zone. On joining Schengen, the number of migrants heading to Bulgaria is expected to dramatically increase.

She compared the numbers and treatment of migrants and refugees in Bulgaria to Romania, Greece and Belgium.

Fellowship Portfolio

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Bulgarian Asylum System Pushes Migrants West

Bulgaria fails to integrate its refugees and routinely locks up asylum seekers, despite EU and national laws banning the use of detention centres, forcing even those who might otherwise stay to try their luck in western Europe.

The Alumni Network

What is the Alumni Network?

The Alumni Network is an ever-expanding group of journalists who have all participated in the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.


Turkey and the Balkans

The re-emergence of Turkey as a growing economic, political and religious power in the Balkans is the subject of the latest Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence Alumni Initiative project.

Roma Decade

Twelve countries, including several Balkan states, have signed up to the European Roma Decade 2005-2015 initiative. Halfway through the decade, has any real progress been made?