Mila Popova

Mila Popova from Sofia, Bulgaria, works on the international news desk of the Dnevnik daily, writing news analysis and conducting interviews and investigations


She graduated from the American University of Bulgaria with a degree in politics, international relations, journalism and mass communication.

For the 2010 fellowship programme, Mila researched the widespread but hidden abuse of psychoactive pharmaceuticals across the Balkans, including tranquilisers, sedatives and anti-depressants.

She aims to research the issues of hidden addiction in Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Serbia. Mila plans to interview psychiatrists, pharmacists, addiction specialists, law enforcement officers and addicts.

To compare the use, abuse and availability of these drugs in different Balkan and EU countries, Mila travelled to Bosnia, Serbia and Scotland for her investigation.

Mila’s research was supervised by Albena Shkodrova, an editor for BIRN’s Balkan Insight.

Fellowship Portfolio

A nation hooked on tranquillizers and anti depressants?

Why is there substantial per cent of adult Bulgarians reliant on pills to get by? When did this start? Is it abuse of the system by doctors – prescribing drugs far too easily as a cure-all?

Addiction to Pills Grips the Balkans

The use of tranquillizers and antidepressants appears to be on the rise in south-eastern Europe, as people struggle to recover from recent wars and cope with the stresses of modern consumerism.

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?