Solidarity Award for Journalists from Southeast Europe

The Southeast Europe Association awards the Solidarity Award for journalists from Southeast Europe since 2021.

The Solidarity Award honors courageous journalists from our partner countries, who often expose themselves to great personal risks due to their critical reporting. It aims to honor their outstanding work and to recognize their contribution to the promotion of democracy, rule of law, and freedom of the press. The award is also intended to contribute to the protection of journalists on the ground through the public attention it attracts and to honor the great achievements of the award winners.

With the award, the SOG wants to demonstrate that it stands by those who speak up for European values such as freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The prize will be awarded at a specially designed event and is financed entirely through donations.

Proposals for potential award winners can be submitted until March 31 of each year. Please email the completed proposal form to:

Donations for the award can be transferred to the donations account of the Southeast Europe Association:

Deutsche Bank München
IBAN: DE03 7007 0024 0207 1900 05
Reason for Payment: „Donation Solidarity Award“

Or donate with just a few clicks via Paypal:

Previous award winners


Pelin Ünker

Pelin Ünker is an investigative journalist who has been working for Deutsche Welle in Turkey since 2018. Prior to that, she worked as a business reporter and financial editor at Cumhuriyet newspaper (2008-2018). She is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Turkey and has led the Turkish part of ICIJ's Big Data and leak reporting projects, including the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, Implant Files, Pandora Papers, Shadow Diplomats and Deforestation Inc. In her research, she deals not only with macroeconomic data on the state of the Turkish economy, privatization, and public procurements, but also with cases of corruption, tax avoidance and evasion. In connection with the lawsuit filed by former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and his sons over the Paradise Papers, Ünker was sentenced to one year, one month and 15 days in prison. Ünker, whose sentence was overturned by the Court of Appeal, was awarded the Don Bolles Medal by Investigative Reporters and Editors during that time. She has received further awards for her work, including the Investigative Reporting Award from the Progressive Journalists Association, the Transparency Award from Transparency International Turkey, and the European Union Investigative Journalism Award from BIRN and the Journalists' Association.


Ivana Gordić Perc

Journalist at VOICE- Vojvodina Research and Analytical Center with more than 20 years of experience in the creation of different media contents. She started her career in 1999 on Radio Zrenjanin, from where she moved to the legendary Radio Coyote. In 2021 she uncovered the story about the inhumane and forceful working conditions in which around 500 Vietnamese workers were employed at the construction site of the Chinese Ling Long tire factory in Zrenjanin, Serbia. This story caused a lot of media attention in Serbia and internationally, including a debate in the European Parliament and at the United Nations. Due to her reporting, Ivana was faced with a lot of pressure and threats from those who tried to cover up the whole case. In 2022, Ivana Gordić received the Annual Award for Investigative and Analytical Journalism of the Independent Association of Journalists of Vojvodina (IJAV) for this story. Despite being the mother of three children, she is fearless in her journalistic work, which in her case is often accompanied by threats, especially when investigating corruption at the local level.


Una Hajdari

Freelance journalist from Pristina, Kosovo, focused on Central and Eastern Europe and mainly reporting for US outlets like The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, The Nation, Foreign Policy and others. Her work stands out from the usual reporting from Kosovo because she writes and reports in Albanian and Serbian, a rarity in Kosovo. She reports on all the countries of former Yugoslavia, specializing on nationalism, ethnic minorities, right-wing movements, dealing with the past, media freedom and post-war societies. Addressing these topics means often facing hostility and threats. Against all odds, Ms Hajdari investigates persistently and continues to critically question the local circumstances, fighting against stereotypes and prejudices. Una Hajdari is also involved with Reporters Without Borders and regional journalism initiatives. Her work is committed to press and media freedom, what often comes at a high personal price.


Dragan Bursać

Born in Bihac in 1975, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian former philosophy teacher started his journalistic career at the turn of the millennium at Radio Banja Luka. In 2007, he started working for the independent and well-known BUKA portal, followed by engagements for Al Jazeera Balkans, Radio Sarajevo and Antena M Montenegro from 2016 on forward. He has received various awards for his work, like the Srdjan Aleksić Award, the UNHCR Journalist Award in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the European Press Prize in the "Opinion" category. Bursać focuses in his work on war crimes in former Yugoslavia, dealing with the past and humanity in war. To this day he lives and works in Banja Luka, even as his work has had made him the target of death threats and attacks, limiting his individual freedom. He nevertheless continues his work as a journalist and columnist.