Bianca Albu, Ivan Radev, Oana Despa

Following the Money: Investigating the EU Recovery Fund

Millions of euros in European Union funds are being spent on COVID-19 equipment in Romania and Bulgaria. But who are the firms that are receiving the funds? Are their products overpriced? Are suspicions of corruption well-founded? Two investigative journalists from Romania and one from Bulgaria are ready to trace the money trail and find out whether the recovery funds from the EU budget were spent appropriately or not. We expect to deliver a series of articles and a step-by-step blueprint for how such investigations can be replicated in any EU member state.

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Oana DESPA


I didn't set out to become a journalist. I ended up in a newsroom when I was 18 years old and I fell in love with this job because it has enabled me to find the truth and contribute to addressing some of society's deformities.
Although I wanted to do something else in life and I prepared myself thoroughly for it, I remained a journalist and I think it was the best choice that life made for me.

Reporting focus


investigative journalist focused on corruption, public acquisitions, and health, as well as judicial and home affairs
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Previous publications

Current position

BIANCA ALBU


At the beginning, a frustration over corruption pushed me to become a journalist. It felt like that was the only way to fight injustice. It did not take me long to change my mind. Now it is not about corruption – it is only about shedding light on the truth.

Reporting focus

investigative journalist focused on corruption, public acquisitions, and health

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Previous publications

Current position

  • Junior Reporter

Media outlets where her work has recently appeared

Awards

IVAN RADEV


I became a journalist because I wanted to check the facts by myself. It is a good career choice for a curious person, with diverse areas of interest.

Reporting focus

Media and political analysis

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Previous publications

Current position

  • Board Member of Association of European Journalists Bulgaria

Media outlets he has been writing for

  • Freelance

This project is co-funded by the European Commission under the pilot project: “Supporting investigative journalism and media freedom in the EU” (DG CONNECT). This text reflects the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Click here to see Bianca Albu, Ivan Radev, Oana Despa 's reporting proposal.

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