Europe :: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Introduction ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991 was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and Montenegro - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form a "Greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties initialed a peace agreement that brought to a halt three years of interethnic civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995). The Dayton Peace Accords retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's international boundaries and created a multi-ethnic and democratic government charged with conducting foreign, diplomatic, and fiscal policy. Also recognized was a second tier of government composed of two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosniak/Bosnian Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska (RS). The Federation and RS governments are responsible for overseeing most government functions. Additionally, the Dayton Accords established the Office of the High Representative (OHR) to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspects of the agreement. The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) at its conference in Bonn in 1997 also gave the High Representative the authority to impose legislation and remove officials, the so-called "Bonn Powers." An original NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops assembled in 1995 was succeeded over time by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR). In 2004, European Union peacekeeping troops (EUFOR) replaced SFOR. Currently EUFOR deploys around 600 troops in theater in a policing capacity.

Geography ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia
    44 00 N, 18 00 E
    total: 51,197 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 129
    land: 51,187 sq km
    water: 10 sq km
    slightly smaller than West Virginia
    total: 1,538 km
    border countries: Croatia 932 km, Montenegro 249 km, Serbia 357 km
    20 km
    no data available
    hot summers and cold winters; areas of high elevation have short, cool summers and long, severe winters; mild, rainy winters along coast
    mountains and valleys
    lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
    highest point: Maglic 2,386 m
    coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, cobalt, manganese, nickel, clay, gypsum, salt, sand, timber, hydropower
    arable land: 19.63%
    permanent crops: 1.99%
    other: 78.38% (2011)
    30 sq km (2003)
    37.5 cu km (2011)
    destructive earthquakes
    air pollution from metallurgical plants; sites for disposing of urban waste are limited; water shortages and destruction of infrastructure because of the 1992-95 civil strife; deforestation
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    within Bosnia and Herzegovina's recognized borders, the country is divided into a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation (about 51% of the territory) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska or RS (about 49% of the territory); the region called Herzegovina is contiguous to Croatia and Montenegro, and traditionally has been settled by an ethnic Croat majority in the west and an ethnic Serb majority in the east

People and Society ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

Government ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Bosnia and Herzegovina
    local long form: none
    local short form: Bosna i Hercegovina
    former: People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
    emerging federal democratic republic
    name: Sarajevo
    geographic coordinates: 43 52 N, 18 25 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    2 first-order administrative divisions and 1 internationally supervised district* - Brcko District (Brcko Distrikt)*, the Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska; note - Brcko District is in northeastern Bosnia and is a self-governing administrative unit under the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina and formally held in condominium between the two entities
    1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia; referendum for independence completed on 1 March 1992; independence declared on 3 March 1992)
    National Day (Statehood Day), 25 November (1943); note - observed only in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity
    the Dayton Peace Accords, signed 14 December 1995 in Paris, included a constitution; note - each of the entities and cantons also has its own constitution
    civil law system; Constitutional Court review of legislative acts
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age, 16 if employed; universal
    chief of state: Chairman of the Presidency Nebojsa RADMANOVIC (chairman since November 2012; presidency member since 6 November 2006 - Serb); other members of the three-member presidency rotate every eight months: Bakir IZETBEGOVIC (presidency member since 10 November 2010 - Bosniak); Zeljko KOMSIC (presidency member since 6 November 2006 - Croat)
    head of government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers Vjekoslav BEVANDA (since 12 January 2012)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the council chairman; approved by the state-level House of Representatives
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the three members of the presidency (one Bosniak, one Croat, one Serb) elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term, but then ineligible for four years) by constituencies referring to the three ethnic groups; the candidate with the most votes in a constituency is elected; the chairmanship rotates every eight months and resumes where it left off following each general election; election last held on 3 October 2010 (next to be held in October 2014); the chairman of the Council of Ministers appointed by the presidency and confirmed by the state-level House of Representatives
    election results: percent of vote - Nebojsa RADMANOVIC with 48.9% of the votes for the Serb seat; Zeljko KOMSIC with 60.6% of the votes for the Croat seat; Bakir IZETBEGOVIC with 34.9% of the votes for the Bosniak seat
    note: President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Zivko BUDIMIR (since 17 March 2011); Vice Presidents Spomenka MICIC (since 21 February 2007) and Mirsad KEBO (since 21 February 2007); President of the Republika Srpska: Milorad DODIK (since 15 November 2010)
    bicameral Parliamentary Assembly or Skupstina consists of the House of Peoples or Dom Naroda (15 seats, 5 Bosniak, 5 Croat, 5 Serb; members designated by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Peoples and the Republika Srpska's National Assembly to serve four-year terms); and the state-level House of Representatives or Predstavnicki Dom (42 seats, 28 seats allocated for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 14 seats for the Republika Srpska; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms); note - Bosnia's election law specifies four-year terms for the state and first-order administrative division entity legislatures
    elections: House of Peoples - last constituted in 9 June 2011 (next likely to be constituted in 2015); state-level House of Representatives - elections last held on 3 October 2010 (next to be held in October 2014)
    election results: House of Peoples - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - NA; state-level House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - SDP BiH 8, SNSD 8, SDA 7, SDS 4, SBB BiH 4, HDZ-BiH 3, SBiH 2, HDZ-1990/HSP BiH 2, other 4
    note: the Bosniak/Croat Federation has a bicameral legislature that consists of a House of Peoples (58 seats - 17 Bosniak, 17 Croat, 17 Serb, 7 other); last constituted May 2011 (next likely to be constituted in 2015); and a House of Representatives (98 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections last held on 3 October 2010 (next to be held in October 2014); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party/coalition - SDP BiH 28, SDA 23, SBB BiH 13, HDZ-BiH 12, SBiH 9, NSRzB 5, HDZ-1990 3, HSP 3, DNZ 1, PDP, 1; the Republika Srpska has a National Assembly (83 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections last held on 3 October 2010 (next to be held in October 2014); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party/coalition - SNSD 37, SDS 18, PDP 7, DNS 6, SPRS 4, DP 3, SDP BiH 3, SDA 2, NDS 2 SRS-RS 1; as a result of the 2002 constitutional reform process, a 28-member Republika Srpska Council of Peoples (COP) was established in the Republika Srpska National Assembly including 8 Croats, 8 Bosniaks, 8 Serbs, and 4 members of the smaller communities
    highest court(s): BiH Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members); Court of BiH (consists of 44 national judges and 7 international judges organized into three divisions - Administrative, Appellate, and Criminal, which includes a War Crimes Chamber)
    judge selection and term of office: BiH Constitutional Court judges - 4 selected by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Representatives, 2 selected by the Republika Srpska's National Assembly, and 3 non-Bosnian judges selected by the president of the European Court of Human Rights; Court of BiH president and national judges appointed by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council; Court of BiH president appointed for renewable 6-year term; other national judges appointed to serve until age 70; international judges recommended by the president of the Court of BiH and appointed by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina; international judges appointed to serve until age 70
    subordinate courts: the Federation has 10 cantonal courts plus a number of municipal courts; the Republika Srpska has a supreme court, 5 district courts, and a number of municipal courts
    Alliance for a Better Future of BiH or SBB BiH [Fahrudin RADONCIC]
    Alliance of Independent Social Democrats or SNSD [Milorad DODIK]
    Bosnian Party or BOSS [Mirnes AJANOVIC]
    Bosnian Patriotic Party or BPS [Sefer HALILOVIC]
    Civic Democratic Party or GDS [Ibrahim SPAHIC]
    Croat Peasants' Party-New Croat Initiative or HSS-NHI [Ante COLAK]
    Croatian Christian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina or HKDU [Ivan MUSA]
    Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina or HDZ-BiH [Dragan COVIC]
    Croatian Democratic Union 1990 or HDZ-1990 [Bozo LJUBIC]
    Croatian Party of Rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina or HSP BiH [Zvonko JURISIC]
    Democratic National Union or DNZ [Rifat DOLIC]
    Democratic Party or DP [Dragan CAVIC]
    Democratic Peoples' Alliance or DNS [Marko PAVIC]
    Liberal Democratic Party or LDS [Amir HUSARIC]
    Nasa Stranka or NS [Denis GRATZ]
    New Socialist Party or NSP [Zdravko KRSMANOVIC]
    Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina or SBiH [Amer JERLAGIC]
    Party of Democratic Action or SDA [Sulejman TIHIC]
    Party of Democratic Progress or PDP [Mladen IVANIC]
    'People's' Party of Work for Progress or NSRzB [Mladen IVANKOVIC-LIJANOVIC]
    Serb Democratic Party or SDS [Mladen BOSIC]
    Serb Radical Party of the Republika Srpska or SRS-RS [Milanko MIHAJLICA]
    Serb Radical Party-Dr. Vojislav Seselj or SRS-VS [Nemanja SAROVIC]
    Social Democratic Party of BiH or SDP BiH [Zlatko LAGUMDZIJA]
    Social Democratic Union or SDU [Nermin PECANAC]
    Socialist Party of Republika Srpska or SPRS [Petar DJOKIC]
    other: war veterans; displaced persons associations; family associations of missing persons; private media
    BIS, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jadranka NEGODIC
    chancery: 2109 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
    telephone: [1] (202) 337-1500
    FAX: [1] (202) 337-1502
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Patrick S. MOON
    embassy: 1 Robert C. Frasure Street, 71000 Sarajevo
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [387] (33) 704-000
    FAX: [387] (33) 659-722
    branch office(s): Banja Luka, Mostar
    a wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow isosceles triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag; the remainder of the flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse of the triangle; the triangle approximates the shape of the country and its three points stand for the constituent peoples - Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs; the stars represent Europe and are meant to be continuous (thus the half stars at top and bottom); the colors (white, blue, and yellow) are often associated with neutrality and peace, and traditionally are linked with Bosnia
    golden lily
    name: "Drzavna himna Bosne i Hercegovine" (The National Anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina)

    lyrics/music: Dusan SESTIC and Benjamin ISOVIC/Dusan SESTIC
    note: music adopted 1999; lyrics adopted 2009

Economy ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia has a transitional economy with limited market reforms. The economy relies heavily on the export of metals as well as on remittances and foreign aid. A highly decentralized government hampers economic policy coordination and reform, while excessive bureaucracy and a segmented market discourage foreign investment. The interethnic warfare in Bosnia and Herzegovina caused production to plummet by 80% from 1992 to 1995 and unemployment to soar. With an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-99 but slowed in 2000-02 and picked up again during 2003-08, when GDP growth exceeded 5% per year. However, the country experienced a decline in GDP of nearly 3% in 2009 reflecting local effects of the global economic crisis. GDP has stagnated since then. Foreign banks, primarily from Austria and Italy, now control most of the banking sector. The konvertibilna marka (convertible mark or BAM) - the national currency introduced in 1998 - is pegged to the euro, and confidence in the currency and the banking sector has increased. Bosnia's private sector is growing, but foreign investment has dropped off sharply since 2007. Government spending, at roughly 50% of GDP, remains high because of redundant government offices at the state, entity and municipal level. Privatization of state enterprises has been slow, particularly in the Federation, where political division between ethnically-based political parties makes agreement on economic policy more difficult. High unemployment remains the most serious macroeconomic problem. Successful implementation of a value-added tax in 2006 provided a predictable source of revenue for the government and helped rein in gray-market activity. National-level statistics have also improved over time but a large share of economic activity remains unofficial and unrecorded. Bosnia and Herzegovina became a full member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement in September 2007. Bosnia and Herzegovina's top economic priorities are: acceleration of integration into the EU; strengthening the fiscal system; public administration reform; World Trade Organization (WTO) membership; and securing economic growth by fostering a dynamic, competitive private sector. In 2009, Bosnia and Herzegovina was granted an International Monetary Fund (IMF) stand-by arrangement, necessitated by sharply increased social spending and a fiscal crisis exacerbated by the global economic downturn. Disbursement of IMF aid was suspended in 2011 after a parliamentary deadlock left Bosnia without a state-level government for over a year. The IMF concluded a new stand-by arrangement with Bosnia in October 2012, with the first tranches paid in November and December 2012.
    $32.43 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    $32.66 billion (2011 est.)
    $32.25 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $17.33 billion (2012 est.)
    -0.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    1.3% (2011 est.)
    0.7% (2010 est.)
    $8,400 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    $8,400 (2011 est.)
    $8,300 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    household consumption: 79.8%
    government consumption: 22.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 20.7%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 42.3%
    imports of goods and services: -64.8%
    (2011 est.)
    agriculture: 8.2%
    industry: 26.2%
    services: 65.6% (2012 est.)
    wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables; livestock
    steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, aluminum, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, ammunition, domestic appliances, oil refining
    -4.3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    2.6 million (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    agriculture: 20.5%
    industry: 32.6%
    services: 47% (2008)
    43.3% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    43.1% (2010 est.)
    note: official rate; actual rate is lower as many technically unemployed persons work in the gray economy
    18.6% (2007 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.7%
    highest 10%: 27.3% (2007)
    36.2 (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    revenues: $7.949 billion
    expenditures: $8.535 billion (2012 est.)
    45.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    -3.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    43.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    40.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions.
    calendar year
    2.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    3.7% (2011 est.)
    6.73% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    7.14% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.111 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    $4.092 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $9.577 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    $9.538 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $10.67 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    $10.13 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $NA
    -$1.362 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    -$1.583 billion (2011 est.)
    $3.306 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    $3.653 billion (2011 est.)
    metals, clothing, wood products
    Slovenia 17.3%, Croatia 16.5%, Italy 13.6%, Germany 12.8%, Austria 12.7% (2012)
    $8.849 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    $9.591 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs
    Croatia 21.1%, Germany 12.5%, Slovenia 12.4%, Italy 9%, Russia 7.3%, Austria 6.1%, Hungary 4.9%, Greece 4.3% (2012)
    $4.283 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    $4.15 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $10.87 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    $10.73 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    konvertibilna markas (BAM) per US dollar -
    1.5213 (2012 est.)
    1.4069 (2011 est.)
    1.4767 (2010 est.)
    1.4079 (2009)
    1.3083 (2008)

Energy ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

Communications ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

    955,900 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    3.171 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    general assessment: post-war reconstruction of the telecommunications network, aided by a internationally sponsored program, resulting in sharp increases in the number of fixed telephone lines available
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity roughly 25 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership has been increasing rapidly and, stands at roughly 80 telephones per 100 persons
    international: country code - 387; no satellite earth stations (2011)
    3 public TV broadcasters: Radio and TV of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation TV (operating 2 networks), and Republika Srpska Radio-TV; a local commercial network of 5 TV stations; 3 private, near-national TV stations and dozens of small independent TV stations broadcasting; 3 large public radio broadcasters and many private radio stations (2010)
    .ba
    155,252 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    1.422 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 85

Transportation ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

Military ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

Transnational Issues ::Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Serbia delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections along the Drina River remain in dispute
    refugees (country of origin): 6,733 (Croatia) (2012)
    IDPs: 113,000 (Bosnian Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks displaced in 1992-95 war) (2011)
    stateless persons: 4,500 (2012)
    increasingly a transit point for heroin being trafficked to Western Europe; minor transit point for marijuana; remains highly vulnerable to money-laundering activity given a primarily cash-based and unregulated economy, weak law enforcement, and instances of corruption