OLAF /07/14 Brussels, 29 November 2007
"For her determined fight to bring fraud and corruption to the attention of politicians", Ms Reneta Nikolova, TV journalist and chair of the board of the association "Journalists Against Corruption" in Bulgaria, received the title "Journalist of the Year" this week. This title makes up part of the "Europeans of the Year" award organised by the weekly newspaper European Voice (The Economist group) in Brussels. In a message to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Ms Nikolova, acknowledged today the moral and practical support that OLAF has provided to the Bulgarian association "Journalists Against Corruption."
"Being the Journalist of 2007 is a great honour to me and I consider it a strong motivation to continue our activity in opposing corruption and fraud in Bulgaria. I would like to point out that the moral and practical support that OLAF has provided to the Club 'Journalists Against Corruption' has always been very valuable ", Reneta Nikolova wrote in a letter [138 KB] to OLAF today. She added: " Let me also stress that we have found the memorandum [157 KB] signed in 2005 by the members of the OLAF Anti-Fraud Communicators Network (OAFCN) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) a very useful basis for our work. "
In his congratulatory remarks, OLAF-Director General Franz-Hermann Brüner stated: " The Journalist of the Year award honours Ms Nikolova’s commitment in the fight against fraud and corruption. OLAF and Ms Nikolova have co-operated very closely for several years for our common goal of deterring and fighting against fraud and corruption by informing the public ". Mr Brüner concluded: " Independent and professional journalism and free media not only play a pivotal role in contributing to raising awareness about anti-corruption and anti-fraud activities within the European Union, but they also act as public watchdog."
The OLAF Anti-Fraud Communicators Network (OAFCN) and representatives of journalists’ associations like the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have been jointly involved for several years in seminars and awareness raising held in order to ensure up to date information on latest developments, to promote relations between journalists and investigative bodies based upon mutual professional respect, and to generally improve the flow of information about anti-fraud and anti-corruption work.
OAFCN-members and the IFJ/EFJ formally noted, in a document signed in 2005 [157 KB] , that in the context of their responsibilities and obligations under European law, national law and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms, national law enforcement agencies strive for effective and comfortable relations with all media, both national and foreign.
The award "European of the Year" / "Journalist of the Year" is organised by the weekly newspaper European Voice (The Economist group) Senior editors of European Voice, together with a high-profile panel of advisors including personalities like Mr Carl Bildt, foreign minister of Sweden, Mr Mario Monti, former Member of the European Commission and Mr Wilfried Martens, President of the European People’s Party, collectively draw up the list of the 50 people to be honoured. The award winners are then chosen by an EU wide poll.
Ms Reneta Nikolova was voted winner in the category "Journalist of the Year"; the other candidates were Mr Jean Quatremer, EU-Correspondent of Libération, Ms Sangita Myska, BBC TV journalist and Mr Adam Wajrak of Gazeta Wyborcza. Ms Nikolova is a journalist with the Bulgarian National Television and media counsellor to the Financial Intelligence Agency in the Ministry of Finance of Bulgaria. She is the chair of the board of the association "Journalists Against Corruption" in Bulgaria.
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