Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Bosna i Hercegovina
Босна и Херцеговина
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina
flag coat of arms
Official language de jure : none
de facto : Bosnian , Serbian , Croatian
Capital Sarajevo
Form of government Parliamentary Federal Republic
Government system Parliamentary democracy
Head of state Chairman of the State Presidium 1
Head of government Chairman of the Council of Ministers
Zoran Tegeltija ( SNSD )
surface 51,197 km²
population 3,531,159 (2013)
Population density 69 inhabitants per km²
Population development   −0.141% per year
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 20.16 billion ( 115th )
  • $ 47.59 billion ( 111. )
  • 5,755 USD ( 99. )
  • 13,583 USD ( 95. )
Human Development Index   0.750 ( 81st ) (2016)
currency Convertible Mark (KM)
independence March 1, 1992 (from Yugoslavia )
National anthem Intermeco
National holiday Holidays and celebrations (different in the entities)
Time zone UTC + 1 CET
UTC + 2 CEST (March to October)
License Plate BIH
ISO 3166 BA , BIH, 070
Internet TLD .ba
Telephone code +387
Note 1The chairmanship changes every eight months between:
Šefik Džaferović ( Bosniak , SDA )
Milorad Dodik ( Serbian , SNSD , current )
Željko Komšić ( Croatian , DF BH )
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Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian Latin Bosna i Hercegovina [ ˌbɔsnaixɛrʦeɡoːvina ], Serbian - Cyrillic Босна и Херцеговина , abbreviations: BiH / БиХ; also Bosnia-Herzegovina or shortened Bosnia called) is a Southeast European state . Geographically, it consists of the region of Bosnia in the north, which takes up around 80 percent of the national territory, and the smaller region of Herzegovina in the south. Political sub-areas of the federal state are the Republika Srpska , the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Brčko district as a special administrative area.

The national territory lies east of the Adriatic Sea on the Balkan Peninsula and is almost entirely in the Dinaric Mountains . Neighboring states are Croatia in the north and west , Serbia in the east , and Montenegro in the south-east. The Bosnian-Herzegovinian population was a good 3.5 million in 2013 (see Bosnians and Herzegovinians ). The capital and largest city ​​of the country is Sarajevo , other large cities are Banja Luka , Tuzla , Zenica , Bijeljina and Mostar .


The state in its current form emerged from the Dayton Agreement (1995) and, according to this legal successor, is the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina , which was founded immediately after a referendum at the beginning of 1992 and during the Bosnian War the only internationally recognized of a total of four state structures in the Territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina was. The Dayton Treaty ended the war in the country and created a unified but highly decentralized (federal) state. Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of the two entities, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (mostly populated by Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats) and Republika Srpska (mostly populated by Bosnian Serbs). The special administrative area Brčko was subsequently created from parts of the pre-war large municipality Brčko belonging to both entities and today functions as a condominium for both entities, but manages itself independently.

A total of three countries border Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the east Serbia , in the southeast Montenegro , as well as in the north, west and southwest Croatia . Furthermore, the state has at Neum in Neum corridor is a 20 kilometer stretch of coastline on the Adriatic Sea .

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement , the United Nations , the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (observer status), the Council of Europe , a participant in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Cooperation Council for Southeast Europe . Furthermore, the country has been an official candidate for NATO membership since 2010 and a potential candidate for membership of the European Union .


Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula and is largely characterized by a forested low mountain range , with the highest mountains reaching heights of almost 2400 meters above sea level. Part of the mountainous area, especially in the western parts of the country and Herzegovina, is karstified . The surface water that occurs here does not end up in the major river systems, but largely seeps away. In the south and in the north of the Sava lowlands there are also flatter regions that are used for agriculture. Also in the south is the 20 kilometer long Adriatic coast near Neum .


Bosnia and Herzegovina has a total of 1,538 kilometers long external border with its three neighboring countries. Of this, 932 kilometers are in Croatia , which surrounds the country in an arc to the north and west, 357 kilometers in Serbia in the east and 249 kilometers in Montenegro in the southeast.

The 20 kilometer long Adriatic coast near Neum borders Croatia to the east and west and thus interrupts the Croatian coast. The Croatian city of Dubrovnik can only be reached from the mainland by crossing the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina twice.

Due to its central location, Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only former Yugoslav republic that is exclusively surrounded by other former republics.


The highest point in the country: Maglić.

The highest areas of the country are in the southeast, on the historical border between Bosnia and Herzegovina . The summit of the Maglić massif south of Foča on the Montenegrin border is the highest point at 2,386 meters. The rest of the country is mainly characterized by low mountain ranges.


Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in the transition area between Mediterranean and continental climates. Winters can be very cold and temperatures as low as −20 degrees Celsius are not uncommon. Due to the country's location, the summers are mostly very hot and dry.

Landscape zones

Landscape in the southwestern part of Bosnia (near Donji Vakuf)

The country can be divided into three landscape zones according to the climatic zones.

The Pannonian Plain

On the northern border, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a share of the Pannonian Plain , which extends here in the area of ​​the Save Lowlands.

The Dinaric mountain region

The Dinaric mountain region , also known as the "Bosnian Dinarides", extends from the southeast of the country across the central region to the northwest. This landscape is shaped by numerous mountains, which are less karstified, but covered with forest surfaces. This landscape zone includes cities such as Sarajevo , Zenica and Bihać . These areas are usually very warm in summer with up to 35 ° C and cold in winter, whereby the temperature can also drop to −15 ° C and a lot of snow can fall.

The Adriatic coastal region

Herzegovina is mostly part of the Adriatic coastal region. The Herzegovina, which is shaped by Mediterranean influences, consists mainly of karst or karst mountain ranges. The Neretva River , which flows from northeast Herzegovina through Mostar towards the Adriatic coast, is the largest and most famous in this region.


Štrbački Buk waterfall on the Una near Bihać

The country's most important rivers are the Save and Drina , which border Bosnia and Herzegovina in the north and east, and the Bosna , which rises in the interior and flows into the Save. Almost the entire area of Bosnia belongs to the catchment area of ​​the Save or the Black Sea , while the rivers of Herzegovina - partly underground - drain into the Adriatic .

The valleys of the larger rivers in Bosnia extend almost exclusively in a north-south direction, which is important for the country's history of settlement and transport. The larger rivers include the Una and Sana , the Vrbas and the Neretva . Apart from the Sava on the border with Croatia, no river in Bosnia and Herzegovina is navigable.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the blue heart of Europe .

Bosnia and Herzegovina has few significant lakes. Most of the large still waters were artificially dammed. There are large reservoirs on the Drina (e.g. Zvorniksee ), Neretva ( Jablaničko jezero ), Vrbas and Trebišnjica ( Bilećko jezero ). The Modračko jezero near Lukavac in the canton of Tuzla is also a reservoir.

Land use

Just under a fifth of the country's area is suitable for arable farming . These areas are mainly located along the Save, on the lower reaches of the Neretva and in the poljes of Herzegovina.


The animal and plant world of the country is rich in species and diverse. The flora and fauna of the country benefit from the low population density and the uninhabited areas. Around 60 percent of the area of ​​Bosnia and Herzegovina is forested, the mountains in particular are very wooded. Due to the difficult accessibility, nature is also little threatened. In this way the habitat of many rare animals and plants could be preserved.


Many endangered plant species have a habitat in the high mountains of the country. In the Sutjeska National Park on the river of the same name is the Perućica primeval forest - one of the largest still preserved in Europe. In the area of ​​the Dinaric Mountains , an altitude of 500 to 1000 meters is considered a low zone. Oak and beech forests are typical in this area . Beech, spruce , fir and pine forests can be found at an altitude of 1500 meters . A tree that is found in almost all mountains in the country is the Scots pine . A mixture of all of these tree species is found when wooded areas start at a low altitude and continue upwards. In this case one speaks of an Illyrian flora province .

You can find mountain plants such as anemones , thyme and catwort in all areas of the high zone . Like the classic alpine flora, they can be found on the country's mountains. A special feature are the sinkholes created by cave invasions . On the large areas of the sinkholes you will find plants typical of a colder mountainous landscape, while plants typical of the Mediterranean grow on the edges. A good example of the country's flora is the Bjelašnica Mountains . At the foot of the mountain you can find different types of deciduous trees such as oak , grape or winter oak , hawthorn and black beech . In the higher regions there is a mixed forest with beech and fir trees .

The walnut tree is native to southeast Europe and widespread in the low zone. The high mountains mostly have juniper , which is extremely resistant to cold. In spring you can find a large number of flowers. Typical representatives are violets , gentians , daffodils , chamomile , wild garlic , fragrant cowslips , adder heads and pansies . Many flowers that have already become extinct have become naturalized in Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as the orchid family on Lake Prokoško . Some calcareous soils offer ideal conditions for orchid plants such as B. for the red forest bird or the mountain hyacinth . Because of the warm climate, lily plants also thrive in this region . For example, some rare members of the genus Tulipa grow in Bosnia and Herzegovina , such as B. the Tulipa biflora , which is widespread from Croatia to Albania , or the Tulipa orphanidea , which is a rarity and benefits from unspoiled nature.

In addition, the country has a considerable number of endemics . The Lilium carniolicum var. Bosniacum is endemic to calcareous soils in central Bosnia. For a long time its classification was unclear, which led to it being counted as a subspecies or variety to the Pyrenees lilies or as a synonym to the Lilia chalcedonica . It was only after molecular genetic studies that it was finally assigned to the Carniolan lily . Lilium jankae is a plant that has not been clearly assigned for a long time and that thrives in Bosnia . The occurrence extends as far as the Rhodope Mountains .


Eels can be found e.g. B. in Hutovo Blato . Hutovo Blato is a nature park that includes many small lakes and swamps. There are also a large number of other aquatic species, particularly numerous types of cancer.

Of the many different species of snakes that can be found in Bosnia and Herzegovina, two are poisonous. The European horned viper and the adder are poisonous . The four-striped snake is one of the non-poisonous species. In addition to snakes , a large number of other reptiles such as B. Lizards in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The fascinating bird world has been well preserved in the Bosnian mountains. The green woodpecker is native to the deciduous forests and the black woodpecker in the coniferous forests of the country. Griffon vultures are found in some mountains such as B. the Bjelašnica home. The most important birds of prey in the country include the golden eagle and the falcon species. The golden eagle is native to the coast and in the many mountains that occur. The kestrel can be found all over Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Lanner falcon occurs in a few breeding pairs in Herzegovina. Countless species of insects and beetles are also represented in the country.

The largest animal in the country is the endangered brown bear , of which around 2,800 individuals live in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Population pyramid of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2016

The citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are as Bosnians called. This means Bosniaks and Croats as well as Serbs who are resident in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In contrast, the term Bosniaks only refers to Muslims of Bosnian origin. All belong to the “three constituent peoples” of the country and are officially equal.

Life expectancy in the period from 2010 to 2015 was 76.3 years (men: 73.7 years, women: 78.8 years). The fertility rate per woman was 1.28 children per woman in 2016, making it one of the lowest in the world. The population has been falling since the 1990s as a result of the war, emigration and the low birth rate. For 2050, just under 3 million inhabitants are expected. The average age of the population would then be over 50 years, one of the highest in the world.

Population development

year population
1950 2,661,000
1960 3,226,000
1970 3,761,000
1980 4,180,000
1990 4,463,000
2000 3,767,000
2010 3,722,000
2017 3,507,000

Source: UN

Ethnic groups

Geographical distribution of the three ethnic groups
  • Bosniaks> 66%
  • Bosniaks 50-66%
  • Bosniaks largest group, <50%
  • Serbs> 66%
  • Serbs 50-66%
  • Serbs largest group, <50%
  • Croatians> 66%
  • Croatians 50-66%
  • Croatians largest group, <50%
  • The 2013 census showed a share of 50.1 percent Bosniaks (mostly Muslims), 30.8 percent Serbs (mostly Orthodox) and 15.4 percent Croatians (mostly Catholics). The rest of the population either belongs to one of the 17 officially recognized minorities such as Roma and Jews or did not give any ethnic classification. The ethnic self-classification of the Bosnians is mainly based on their religious affiliation and the cultural differences that are sometimes associated with it. There is no linguistic separation within Bosnia, as all ethnic groups speak Ijekavian- Neuštokavian dialects of Serbo-Croatian . Since the Yugoslav Wars , however, they have generally referred to their language as Bosnian , Croatian or Serbian, analogous to their ethnicity , and use the corresponding written language standard.

    In 2017, 1.1% of the resident population were born abroad.


    Double-sprayed Cyrillic-Latin sign on Trebević near Sarajevo

    The inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina mostly speak Ijekavian varieties of the štokavian dialect group, which hardly differ from one another. In the written form, according to the official division of the population into three constituent peoples - Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs - the closely related standard languages Bosnian , Serbian and Croatian are used. Depending on the point of view, these languages ​​are also collectively referred to as Serbo-Croatian .

    The three standard languages ​​can be distinguished in particular with regard to their script. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, for example, Serbian is mainly written in Cyrillic and, to a lesser extent, also in Latin , while Croatian is written exclusively in the Latin alphabet. Bosnian can be written in either writing system, but Latin is generally preferred. In the context of the Bosnian War, the Cyrillic script was increasingly used by Bosnian Serbs, which is mainly due to the desired delimitation from the other two population groups. In the meantime, the Cyrillic script was more consistently used in the Republika Srpska than in Serbia itself.

    Linguistically, the differences between the three variants are very small; they are limited to a small part of the vocabulary and concern certain sounds. The standard Bosnian language (like the Serbian language) contains more words of Ottoman or Turkish origin such as majmun (monkey).

    In addition to the štokavian dialects, the smaller ethnic groups, e.g. B. the Roma, own languages ​​in use.


    Imperial mosque in Sarajevo

    In Bosnia and Herzegovina there has been a coexistence of different religions and beliefs for centuries . Most of the residents are formally assigned to one of the two large monotheistic religious communities ( Christianity and Islam ): Muslims (approx. 50.7% according to the 2013 census, mostly ethnic Bosniaks ), mostly Serbian Orthodox Christians (2013 approx. 30.7%) and mostly Croatian Roman Catholic Christians (approx. 15.2%). For many residents, however, this classification has been an expression of cultural, historical or family ties since the Yugoslav era rather than actual religiosity. According to the 2013 census, 0.3% are agnostics and 0.8% are atheists . 2.3% of the total population of the country belong to other groups such as Protestantism , did not answer or gave no answer.

    In 1991, 42.8 percent were Muslims, 30.1 percent were Serbian Orthodox and 17.6 percent were Catholics. 5.7 percent described themselves as atheists ; the remaining 3.8 percent belonged to other faiths or were non-denominational.

    In 2008 around 1,000 Jews lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina , around 900 Sephardi and 100 Ashkenazi . The largest congregation is that of Sarajevo with around 700 members. 1400 of the Jews who fled Sarajevo during the Bosnian War in 2000, mainly to Israel, still have Bosnian citizenship. According to a research project that ran from 2012 to 2014, 600 of them would like to return to Sarajevo. According to the survey, the Jews consider Bosnia and Herzegovina to be the second safest country in the world after Israel and give the security situation a school grade of 1.3.

    See also: Bosnian Franciscan Province

    School system and education

    Schooling is compulsory up to the ninth grade. Graduates can then opt for three-year vocational training or three to four-year secondary school training at grammar schools, church schools, art schools, technical schools or teacher training institutes. Access to the universities is open to graduates from secondary schools and - to a limited extent - from vocational schools after passing an entrance examination.

    The responsibility of the cantons (within the federation) and the Republika Srpska for cultural and educational policy leads to a fragmented education system with partly ethnocentric curricula. In areas with an ethnically mixed population structure, students are often taught separately by ethnic group. There are universities in Sarajevo, East Sarajevo ( Pale ), Banja Luka , Mostar (the Croatian-dominated Sveučilište Mostar and the Bosniak-dominated university "Džemal Bijedić"), Tuzla , Zenica and Bihać.

    In 2015, 98.5 percent of the population could read and write.


    Expansion of the Bosnian Kingdom in the Middle Ages

    middle Ages

    Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two historical regions that have no relation to the current division into entities: Bosnia and Herzegovina . The country name Bosnia is derived from the Bosna River , which rises near the capital Sarajevo . The name Herzegovina goes back to the ruler title Herceg = duke ( Hercegovina = ducal country ) used by Stjepan Vukčić Kosača . Long part of the Roman Empire ( province of Dalmatia ) in ancient times , the region was settled by Slavs around 600 .

    Ottoman Empire

    In 1463 Bosnia was conquered by the Ottomans . As a result of the immigration of the Ottomans to Bosnia, many mosques were created and the Christian population increasingly converted to Islam , which led to Bosnia enjoying a special status in the Ottoman Empire due to its higher proportion of Muslims. In 1527 the Eyalet Bosnia was founded, which comprised the area of ​​today's entire state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, parts of Croatia, Montenegro, as well as the Sanjak of Novi Pazar , from which the Paschalik Bosnia resulted around 1580 . The Ottoman power was broken and shaken off again by the mass uprising of the Bosnian population in 1876/78.

    Habsburg Monarchy and World War I

    The Sarajevo assassination attempt was carried out on the Latin Bridge

    In 1878, after the Russian victory over the Ottomans , the Berlin Congress placed the Ottoman provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina under Austro-Hungarian administration; in addition, Austria-Hungary received garrison rights in the Sanjak of Novi Pazar . The formal annexation by the Habsburg dual monarchy in 1908 triggered the Bosnian annexation crisis . It was also difficult for people to strive for independence because of the ethnic and religious mix. The resulting share assassination of the Austro-Hungarian throne Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 Serbian Bosnian by the student Gavrilo Princip sparked the July crisis from which finally led to World War I led. Hence, it is seen as a major trigger of the First World War. After the end of the war, the country became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (from 1929: Kingdom of Yugoslavia ).

    Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918–1941)

    Immediately after the First World War, Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Serbian King Petar I (Petar Karađorđević ) ruled in the newly founded South Slavic multi-ethnic state . In the state as a whole, the political mood was tense from the mid-1920s, because Slovenes and Croats in particular were striving for their own political independence, while Belgrade wanted to dominate the newly founded state Serbian. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the situation was accordingly, but here between the Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs.

    The state was characterized by centralism; the idea of ​​autonomy with regard to non-Serbian ethnic groups and non-Christian religions remained largely suppressed; the ethnic and denominational or religious tensions persisted and in some cases intensified. The most influential Bosnian politician during this period was the President of the Yugoslav Muslim Organization , Mehmed Spaho (1883–1939).

    In 1939 there was an agreement (sporazum) between Serbian and Croatian representatives, which provided for the establishment of extensive Croatian autonomy, including parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the spring of 1941, during the Second World War, the country was occupied by troops from the German Empire and Italy . Bosnia-Herzegovina became part of the fascist vassal state called the Independent State of Croatia .

    The successful resistance of Josip Broz Tito led the Yugoslav partisans against the occupiers and their allies culminated in the AVNOJ decisions of 29 November 1943 in Jajce , where the foundation stone for a new federation of South Slavic peoples under the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia KPJ set has been.

    Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945–1992)

    Flag of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1946–1992)

    After the Second World War, with the establishment of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a federal state was created with the six republics of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia with the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. The Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the third largest republic in terms of area. From an economic point of view, Bosnia-Herzegovina in Yugoslavia was behind the republics of Slovenia , Croatia and Serbia , as it was mainly designed for the industrial sector and partly for agricultural operations, in contrast to Slovenia and Croatia, which were primarily designed for tourism .

    Independence and the Bosnian War

    Flag of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1998)

    After the 14th Congress of the Union of Communists of Yugoslavia in 1990, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was dissolved. This ended after 45 years of de facto rule of the Communist Party in Yugoslavia. Slovenian and Croatian politicians proposed a transformation of the country. They wanted to eradicate socialism and set up a western-oriented democratic government. Since all proposals were rejected by the Serbian side and a system based on the principle of "one man - one vote" was advocated, heated disputes arose during the congress. Slovenia and Croatia therefore declared their independence in 1991, so that Yugoslavia now only consisted of the republics of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. On February 29th / 1. March 1992 in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a referendum largely boycotted by the Serbian population, 99.4% of the voters voted for state sovereignty, with a turnout of 63%. On March 2, 1992, the country declared its withdrawal from the Yugoslav state association and its independence under the official name of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Republika Bosna i Hercegovina ) within the borders of the previous republic . International recognition took place on April 17, 1992, but the Serbian representatives did not recognize independence and founded the “Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Srpska republika Bosna i Hercegovina) , the predecessor of today's Republika Srpska , in the areas they controlled is. The war in Bosnia, which has now broken out and has lasted over three years, between the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBiH), the Army of the Serbian Republic (VRS), the Croatian Defense Council (HVO) and other actors claimed a total of around 100,000 lives.

    post war period

    At the end of the Bosnian War, the Dayton Treaty , initialed in Dayton ( USA ) in 1995 and signed in Paris on December 14th, created the now federally organized state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, consisting of the two entities Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska . The domestic political situation was, however, still determined by the consequences of the war and the ongoing conflicts between the three ethnic groups (see International Conflicts of the Successor States of Yugoslavia ). As a rule, there are no conflicts between ordinary Bosnian citizens , but the country is still in a political crisis, as there are different ideas about the future of the state. Bosniak politicians in particular want to centralize the state as a whole and integrate it into the European Union in the medium term ; Croatian representatives are campaigning for a new right to vote and partly for the creation of a third (Croatian) entity and the representatives of the Republika Srpska are calling for further decentralization of the state or even the secession of Republika Srpska. So far, none of the three models has found a political majority in the state as a whole.

    In February 2014, protests, some of them violent, broke out in Tuzla and later in numerous other cities in the country, directed against the poor economic situation and corruption in politics and administration.


    Political system

    Parliament building in Sarajevo

    The political system is often referred to by scholars and journalists as "the most complex system of government in the world". The state as a whole, the entities and the 10 cantons each have their own legislative and executive structures. In addition, the country is subject to an international mandate, see section Structure of the state .

    In fact, part of the state authority is exercised by the High Representative - since 2009 the Austrian Valentin Inzko - as a representative of the international community, which is justified by the fact that, as a result of the mutual mistrust that arose among those responsible for the national minorities, there is still a blockade attitude. In addition, around 1,000 foreign soldiers are still stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the EUFOR operation “Althea” .

    Full legal, economic and social equality between the sexes and thus active and passive women's suffrage were first guaranteed in the 1946 constitution (according to a different source for active and passive women's suffrage: January 31, 1949).

    In the 2019 Democracy Index, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks 102nd out of 167 countries and is therefore a "hybrid regime" with democratic and authoritarian elements.


    The political landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina is fragmented by the internal split. While the governing parties are relatively small, there are many different parties in the opposition.

    The strongest Bosniak parties include the SDA and SBIH, with the SBIH calling itself the unified party of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the Serbian side, the party of the Social Democrat Milorad Dodik SNSD dominates, while among the Croatians the HDZ 1990 and HDZ BIH were elected to parliament in most of the elections.

    2006 elections and accession negotiations with the European Union

    The elections on October 1, 2006 were considered to be trend-setting because the international community wanted to withdraw the High Representative in 2007 and transfer Bosnia and Herzegovina to full sovereignty. In retrospect, this project was initially postponed for another year. The Bosniak Haris Silajdžić from the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina (SBiH), the Serb Nebojša Radmanović from the Association of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) and the Croat Željko Komšić from the multi-ethnic Social Democrats were elected to the state presidency. Komšić beat his opponent from the nationalist Croatian Democratic Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH) in a head-to-head race . Croatian nationalist groups protested that Komšić could not represent Croatian interests because members of other ethnic groups had primarily voted for him. Before the elections, the Bosnian-Serbian party SNSD had again called for a referendum for the independence of the Republika Srpska if the calls for greater centralization did not end. Silajdžić campaigned for a constitutional amendment that would allow Bosnia to grow together into a "functional" state. This is in part interpreted to mean that he questioned the existence of the entities. In January 2008, the chairman of the SNSD, Milorad Dodik , affirmed that the Republika Srpska was part of the state as a whole and his will to maintain it. In 2010, however, Dodik had spoken several times of a possible secession of the Serbian half of the country or that he did not give Bosnia a chance to survive.

    At the end of February 2008, EU representatives, together with envoys from the USA and Russia, decided to leave the High Representative in the country indefinitely. On June 16, 2008, the Stabilization and Association Agreement was concluded with the European Union, which is considered to be an important preliminary stage for the intended accession to the EU. The signing was made dependent on a police reform. The police in both parts of the country were called upon to cooperate more intensively with one another, particularly in order to convict other war criminals . The European Union Police Mission (EUPM) has been operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2003 . It is primarily responsible for the fight against organized crime and for advice on police reform.

    Vjekoslav Bevanda (HDZ BiH) has been chairman of the Council of Ministers and thus head of government since January 2012 .

    2010 elections and delayed government formation

    In the general elections on October 3, 2010, the following were elected as members of the State Presidium: Željko Komšić (Bosnian-Croatian member), Bakir Izetbegović (Bosnian-Bosniak member) and Nebojša Radmanović (Bosnian-Serbian member). In this election, however, there were doubts as to whether the victory in two cases was not due to electoral fraud. The electoral commission had ordered a recount of the unusually high number of invalid votes in the election of the Serbian and Bosniak member of the state presidency. After recounting, all three elected members of the State Presidium were confirmed and in the constituent meeting on November 10, 2010, Nebojša Radmanović was elected as the first Chairman of the State Presidium.

    In addition to the state presidency, the state parliament consisting of two chambers, the parliaments of the Bosniak-Croatian Federation and the Republika Srpska, the president of the Serbian state, his two vice-presidents and, in the federation, the parliaments of the ten cantons were elected.

    After the elections in October 2010, conflicts among the leading Bosniak, Serbian and Croatian parties prevented the formation of a government. Only after almost 15 months, in which u. a. the International Monetary Fund and the European Union had suspended their loan payments, the six major parties of the three ethnic groups agreed at the end of December 2011 on a new government. If the agreement had not been reached before January 1, 2012, all payments from the state budget would have had to be suspended. According to media reports, the political representatives are also said to have agreed on the 2012 budget and some EU-compliant laws. At the beginning of January 2012, Vjekoslav Bevanda from the Croatian Democratic Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina ( HDZ BiH ) was elected as the new Prime Minister by parliament.

    2014 elections and 2015 government formation

    Acting State Presidency (since 2018)

    In the elections on October 12, 2014, 51 political parties, 14 other alliances and 15 independent candidates ran. The turnout was 54.14 percent, about 2 percentage points less than in 2010.

    The following were elected to the State Presidium: Bakir Izetbegović as a Bosniak member with 32.87%, Dragan Čović as a Croatian member with 52.2% and Mladen Ivanić as a Serbian member with 48.71%.

    In the elections for the national parliament, the following parties won the seats from the federation: SDA (27.87%, 9 seats), DF (15.33%, 5), SBB (14.44%, 4), HDZ BiH coalition (12.15%, 4), SDP (9.45%, 3), HDZ 1990 (4.08%, 1), BPS (3.65%, 1) and A-SDA (2.25%, 1 ). The seats of the Republika Srpska go to SNSD (38.46%, 6 seats), SDS (33.64%, 5), PDP-NDP (7.76%, 1), DNS (5.72%, 1) and SDA (4.88%, 1).

    State Government Formation 2015

    It was only six months after the election that the new state government was formed and confirmed by a five-party coalition in the House of Representatives. Denis Zvizdić of the SDA became chairman of the Council of Ministers and thus head of government. The HDZ got three of the nine ministerial posts, although they only received 7.5 percent of the vote in the elections. The multiethnic Demokratska Fronta (DF) only has one minister despite 9.2 percent. Foreign Minister is the Serb Igor Crnadak. The Serbian parties that sit in the government are considered reform-oriented and not separatist. The leading SNSD in the Republika Srpska was ostracized at the national level.

    2018 elections and 2019 government formation

    In the elections on October 7, 2018, 14 parties or alliances won seats in the House of Representatives. The turnout was 54.02 percent. On December 23, 2019, a new government with the coalition partners SDA, SNSD, SBB, HDZ and DF was confirmed in parliament.

    Human rights situation

    Bosnia and Herzegovina has ratified the UN Women's Rights Convention and the Additional Protocol to the Women's Rights Convention. The death penalty has been abolished. The Helsinki International Federation for Human Rights found in its 2008 report that discrimination occurs in some areas of life such as employment. The situation of defenders of human rights is also alarming. Attacks against journalists have escalated. At the first queer festival on human rights and sexuality in September 2007, an organizer was threatened with death and eight participants were beaten. Before the festival, politicians, clergy and some media started a campaign against the event.

    Citing BH Journalists , the 2008 report identified 54 cases in which journalists' rights or the freedom of the press had been violated. There were 25 registered cases in which journalists were attacked or threatened, including death.


    Defense policy remained with the two entities until the end of 2005. Since 2006, the armed forces have been under the state presidency and the Ministry of Defense, created in 2004, at state level. The common army consists of up to 10,000 active professional soldiers and an "active reserve" about half as strong. In addition to the formally integrated operational structures, there is a Bosniak, Serb and Croatian regiment , which are supposed to continue the traditions of the three armed forces ARBiH , HVO and VRS . General conscription was lifted on January 1, 2006. The aim is to integrate the armed forces into European and Euro-Atlantic structures and to participate in UN operations. In 2006 Bosnia and Herzegovina joined NATO - “ Partnership for Peace ”. In October 2010, a military contingent consisting of 45 members was sent to Afghanistan to support the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) . The troop strength increased to 53 soldiers by 2012.


    Sokolac Rogatica Rudo Višegrad Pale Foča Gacko Kalinovik Nevesinje Bileća Trebinje Ravno Ljubinje Konjic Istočni Mostar Berkovići Neum Mostar Stolac Čapljina Čajniče Goražde Pale-Prača Ustiprača Foča-Ustikolina Srebrenica Bratunac Milići Han Pijesak Zvornik Bijeljina Brčko Ugljevik Lopare Vlasenica Šekovići Osmaci Olovo Ilijaš Hadžići Ilidža Trnovo Istočni Stari Grad Istočna Ilidža Vogošća Sarajevo-Stari Grad Sarajevo-Centar Sarajevo-Novi Grad Istočno Novo Sarajevo Novo Sarajevo Visoko Glamoč Livno Bosansko Grahovo Kupres Kupres (RS) Šipovo Jajce Donji Vakuf Bugojno Gornji Vakuf Prozor-Rama Jablanica Tomislavgrad Posušje Grude Široki Brijeg Ljubuški Čitluk Fojnica Kreševo Kiseljak Busovača Novi Travnik Travnik Zenica Vitez Kakanj Vareš Breza Kladanj Živinice Kalesija Sapna Teočak Tuzla Lukavac Čelić Srebrenik Banovići Zavidovići Žepče Maglaj Tešanj Usora Dobretići Gradačac Gračanica Doboj Istok Velika Kladuša Cazin Bužim Bosanska Krupa Bihać Bosanski Petrovac Drvar Sanski Most Ključ Petrovac (RS) Istočni Drvar Ribnik Mrkonjić Grad Jezero Kneževo Kotor Varoš Teslić Banja Luka Oštra Luka Krupa na Uni Prijedor Novi Grad Kostajnica Kozarska Dubica Gradiška Srbac Laktaši Čelinac Prnjavor Derventa Doboj Stanari Modriča Brod Pelagićevo Donji Žabar Orašje Domaljevac-Šamac Šamac Odžak Vukosavlje
    Political structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Federation BiH (blue) with its cantons (different shades), the Republika Srpska (red), the Brčko district (yellow)

    Structure of the state

    The political structure of the state is complex. Since the Dayton Treaty (also known as the Dayton Peace Agreement ), Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two entities : the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine ) with 2,371,603 inhabitants (62.55%) and the Republika Srpska with 1,326. 991 inhabitants (35%). Both entities each have their own executive and legislative branches. The Brčko district around the northern Bosnian town of the same name with 93,028 inhabitants (2.45%) is directly subordinate to the state as a condominium of both entities. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is made up of ten cantons that have their own competencies. For statistical purposes, the Republika Srpska is also divided into regions, which, however, have no administrative significance. The lowest administrative level is made up of the 142 municipalities ( općine or opštine ).

    Cantons of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    No. Surname surface population density Capital
    1. Canton Una-Sana (Unsko-sanski kanton) 04,125.0 0.273.261 066.2 Bihać
    2. Canton Posavina (Posavski kanton / Posavska županija) 0.0324.6 0.043,453 133.9 Orašje
    3. Canton Tuzla (Tuzlanski kanton) 02,649 0.445.028 168 Tuzla
    4th Canton Zenica-Doboj (Zeničko-dobojski kanton) 03,343.3 0.364,433 109 Zenica
    5. Canton of Bosnian Podrinje (Bosansko-podrinjski kanton) 0.0504.6 0.023,734 047 Goražde
    6th Canton of Central Bosnia / Central Bosnia (Srednjobosanski kanton / Srednjobosanska županija) 03,189.0 0.254,686 079.9 Travnik
    7th Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (Hercegovačko-neretvanski kanton / Hercegovačko-neretvanska županija) 04,401.0 0.222.007 050.4 Mostar
    8th. Canton of West Herzegovina (Zapadno-Hercegovački kanton / Zapadno-Hercegovačka županija) 01,362.2 0.094,898 069.7 Široki Brijeg
    9. Sarajevo Canton (Sarajevski canton) 01,276.9 0.413,593 323.9 Sarajevo
    10. Canton 10 (Hercegbosanska županija / Livanjski kanton / Zapadnobosanski kanton) 04,934.9 0.084.127 017th Livno
    total 26,110.5 2,219,220 085

    Initially, only foreign policy, monetary policy and external economic relations were assigned to the state level. In recent years, the competences of the central state have been expanded to include other tasks (defense, customs and indirect taxes, prosecution and trial of war criminals and the fight against serious crime).

    Presidential Palace in Sarajevo

    In addition to the governments and parliaments of the two entities, there is a joint government and a joint parliament (House of Representatives with 42 seats and Chamber of Nations with 15 seats) for the entire state. The three ethnic groups each have a representative in a three-member state presidium. The Bosniaks and Croats elect their two representatives in the Federation, the Bosnian Serbs theirs in the Republika Srpska. The chairmanship of the State Presidium changes every eight months. The restriction that only members of the three constituent peoples may run for the presidency was seen by the ECHR as a violation of the prohibition of discrimination and the right to free elections .


    Large parts of the country are only sparsely populated. In simple terms, the majority of the population is concentrated in the Sarajevo area and in the valleys of the larger rivers, v. a. the Bosna.

    The largest cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina are (population figures for the major municipalities):

    Large cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (population without agglomeration)
    rank Surname Residents Administrative unit
    Latin Cyrillic 2013 census 1991 census 1981 census
    1. Sarajevo Сарајево 291,422 361.735 303.702 Flag of Sarajevo Canton.svg Sarajevo Canton
    2. Banja Luka Бања Лука 150.997 143.079 123.937 Flag of the Republika Srpska.svg Republika Srpska
    3. Tuzla Тузла 120,441 83,770 65.091 Flag of Tuzla Canton.svg Canton of Tuzla
    4th Zenica Зеница 115.134 96,027 63,569 Flag of Zenica-Doboj Canton.svg Zenica-Doboj Canton
    5. Bijeljina Бијељина 114,663 37,216 31,124 Flag of the Republika Srpska.svg Republika Srpska
    6th Mostar Мостар 113.169 75,865 63,427 Flag of Herzegovina-Neretva.svg Herzegovina-Neretva Canton


    General development

    In the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the economically weaker regions. After the end of the Bosnian War, there was initially continuous economic growth. The strict monetary policy , which includes a fixed exchange rate between the convertible mark and the euro , contributed to the stability of the currency. The banking system has been reformed, with foreign banks controlling 85 percent of the banks. The officially stated unemployment rate is 28.2 percent and youth unemployment even 67.6%, this rate being reduced by a large, gray economic sector. The introduction of a VAT in 2006 increased government revenues.

    Exports are still not very diversified; Minerals and wood make up 50 percent of all exports. The high current account deficit has so far been offset by transfer payments from Bosnians living abroad. The main trading partner of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the European Union with a share of around 50 percent. In terms of value, Austria is the largest foreign investor ahead of Slovenia. The large and inefficient public sector, bureaucratic obstacles for entrepreneurs and the fragmented labor market, which reflects the ethnic division of the country, are seen as problematic for economic development. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks 103rd out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). In 2017, the country ranks 92nd out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .

    According to Transparency International , Bosnia and Herzegovina is in the lower quarter of European countries on the corruption perception index for 2010, with a global ranking of 91. The value of 3.2 out of 10 points indicates widespread corruption .

    The global financial crisis has resulted in a severe recession. It initially concerned the decline in exports and then a drastic collapse in domestic demand as well. Some large industrial companies had to temporarily stop their production. In the first quarter of 2009, the Federation reported a 10 percent decline in industrial production, while the Republika Srpska recorded an increase of 13 percent (mainly due to the start-up of a large oil processing company). Many major industrial sectors in both entities reported declines on the order of 20 percent.

    The country's gross domestic product (GDP) was around 14.21 billion euros in 2015, and the gross domestic product per capita was 3,749 euros. Bosnia and Herzegovina has now largely recovered from the financial crisis. In 2014 the economy grew by 1.05%. In 2015 a growth rate of 2.1% was recorded. Annual economic growth of over 3% is expected over the next few years.

    Key figures

    All GDP values ​​are given in US dollars.

    year 1997 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
    (purchasing power parity)
    14.09 billion 19.44 billion 27.01 billion 29.43 billion 32.02 billion 34.47 billion 34.45 billion 35.14 billion 36.19 billion 36.59 billion 36.24 billion 39.19 billion 40.83 billion 42.68 billion 44.62 billion
    GDP per capita
    (purchasing power parity)
    3,748 5,161 7.143 7,786 8,483 9,159 9,195 9,440 9,810 10,031 10,557 10,989 11,547 12,136 12,724
    GDP growth
    22.9% 4.4% 4.2% 5.7% 6.0% 5.6% −0.8% 0.8% 0.9% −0.7% 2.4% 1.2% 3.1% 3.2% 2.7%
    (in percent)
    5.7% 5.0% 3.6% 6.1% 1.5% 7.4% −0.4% 2.1% 3.7% 2.0% −0.1% −0.9% −1.1% −1.1% −1.3%
    (in percent)
    35.3% 31.1% 31.1% 31.1% 29.0% 23.4% 24.1% 27.2% 27.6% 28.0% 27.5% 27.5% 27.7% 25.4% 20.5%
    Public debt
    (as a percentage of GDP)
    ... 35% 26% 21% 19% 31% 35% 43% 43% 43% 45% 45% 46% 44% 41%


    The convertible mark (abbreviation KM, in international payment transactions abbreviation BAM (according to ISO 4217 )) has been a valid means of payment throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina since June 22, 1998. The KM is tied to the euro at a fixed ratio of 1.95583: 1 and thus corresponds to the value of the earlier D-Mark .

    According to the law, all domestic bills must be shown with the convertible mark. Nevertheless, the euro and, depending on the region, the Croatian kuna or the Serbian dinar are also widely accepted, although this is officially not desired.

    State budget

    According to estimates by the CIA , the state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 7.975 billion, compared to revenues of US $ 7.681 billion equivalent. This results in a budget deficit of 1.7% of GDP . According to estimates by the IMF, the national debt amounted to 44.3% of GDP in 2016.

    Government expenditure (in% of GDP):

    Tourism, sightseeing

    Mostar old town
    Banja Luka

    Tourism could only develop slowly due to the war. For some years now, more and more tourists have been coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina - especially to Mostar and Sarajevo .

    Important travel destinations

    Others are the castle and fortress walls of Počitelj , the medieval castle of Travnik , the fortifications and the amphitheater of Banja Luka , the lakes blidinje lake , Prokoško Lake and Satorsko Jezero , numerous medieval grave stones ( Stecci ) especially in Herzegovina, the rafting offers on the rivers Neretva , Una , Vrbas and Drina , the Adriatic coastal town of Neum with the highest average annual temperature in the country and the memorial in Potočari for the victims of the Srebrenica massacre inaugurated by US President Bill Clinton .


    Sarajevo by night

    There are numerous sights in Sarajevo and the surrounding area. The Latin Bridge, for example, was the starting point of the First World War, as the assassination attempt on Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife was carried out here. The Bosmal City Center (118 m) and the Avaz Twist Tower (142 m) were completed in 2001 and 2009 and are currently the tallest buildings on the Balkan Peninsula . Also worth seeing are the entire old town of Baščaršija with the Turkish water fountain Sebilj and the Vijećnica , the old town hall. There are also many magnificent historical mosques (e.g. Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque , the largest historical mosque in the country) and church buildings in the city.

    The winter sports areas Bjelašnica and Jahorina , where the 1984 Winter Olympics were held, are also in the vicinity .

    The Sarajevski ratni tunel (Sarajevo tunnel), the Historijski muzej Bosne i Hercegovine (History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina), the " Roses of Sarajevo " and the numerous destruction and bullet holes on buildings remind of the siege of the city during the Bosnian War , mainly on the outskirts.

    The city also offers other museums dedicated to the historical processing of the city and the whole country. These include the National Museum and the Museum of Sarajevo .

    Mine location

    Mine warning sign in the mountains above Sarajevo

    In many parts of the country there is a risk of landmines when leaving paved roads . Along with Kosovo and Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina is the most heavily mined area in Europe. Even in 2009, around 1,573 square kilometers of the state area - especially in the forests and mountain areas - were considered to be at risk of mines, while the settlements and agricultural areas have generally already been cleared. From the end of the war from 1996 to 2017, 605 people were killed in mine accidents (including 74 deminers) and 1,131 injured. The Bosnian army and civilian clearance companies are responsible for clearing known minefields.


    Energy sector

    Both entities have extensive autonomy in energy policy, as in many other areas. There are two energy ministries, each of which issues different laws and ordinances. The state-wide electricity regulation authority DERK has a regulation commission at the entity level. The market is divided among three power companies. The EP RS adds the Republic of Srpska, the EP BiH and EP HZHB supply the federation. There is no separation between electricity generation and distribution. In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina , the companies EP BiH and EP HZHB are responsible for both, and in the Republika Srpska companies belonging to the EP RS group work on the distribution of electricity. For electricity transmission, there is the national independent network operator NOS BiH and the company Elektroprenos-Elektroprijenos Bosne i Hercegovine ad , which is responsible for electricity transfer and which also operates nationwide.

    Electric power in Bosnia and Herzegovina is primarily generated by coal and hydropower plants. The coal reserves amount to approx. 4 billion tons, the hydropower potential is estimated at 6800 MW, of which only 35% has so far been used. The planned investments in the energy sector by 2020 amount to 3.9 billion euros (as of 2009).
    In 2007, 9.4% of primary energy generation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was covered by renewable energies. About 50% of the total land area is covered with forest, which indicates a great biomass potential. According to expert estimates, 9,200 GWh could be generated from biomass. In 2009, the use of biomass was limited to around 4.2% and exclusively for heating households. In areas without a district heating network, the consumption of biomass in the form of wood and charcoal was up to 60% of the total energy consumption.


    Map with drawn infrastructure
    The A1 motorway from Visoko


    The entire road network in 2010 comprised around 22,926 km, of which 19,426 km are asphalted.

    Since 2001, Autobahn 1 from the Adriatic Sea to Budapest has been under construction, the first of currently five planned highways in Bosnia and Herzegovina . This is to lead from Ploče in Croatia via Mostar , Sarajevo , Zenica and Doboj in turn to Croatian territory and form part of the European transport corridor 5C. In total, this motorway will run through Bosnia and Herzegovina for around 360 km. However, the year of full completion is unknown. Another four motorway connections are in the planning phase and have not yet been numbered. Political differences between the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, u. a. over the number assignment, prevent an agreement.


    There are two railway companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina: on the one hand the railway company of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and on the other hand the railway company of the Republika Srpska .

    Railway traffic essentially takes place on two main axes:

    • A north-south route runs from the Croatian hub station Strizivojna-Vrpolje on the Zagreb-Belgrade railway line via Šamac , Doboj , Zenica , Sarajevo and Mostar to the Croatian port city of Ploče .
    • The most important east-west route runs from Sisak in Croatia via Novi Grad and Banja Luka to Doboj, where it joins the aforementioned route.

    These main axes are supplemented by the Una Railway, which runs from Novi Grad via Bihać and Martin Brod to Knin , and a line from Doboj to Tuzla , which is followed by a line via Brčko to Croatia and a line via Zvornik to Serbia.

    There are also a number of factory and mine railways, some of which are still operated with steam.

    The railway network of Bosnia and Herzegovina was badly damaged in the Bosnian War. For several years there has been a rail connection from Zagreb to Sarajevo again; in February 2010 a daily connection between Belgrade and Sarajevo was resumed.

    All of the narrow-gauge lines (“ Bosnian narrow-gauge ”) still built by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy were abandoned around 1970 and mostly dismantled. The plant railway of the Banovići coal mine is an exception - steam locomotives were still in occasional use here in 2011.

    In 2005 a renewal program was decided. Among other things, Spanish Talgo express trains and a large number of freight wagons are to be procured.


    Airport in Sarajevo

    There are currently four international airports:


    The port of Neum is Bosnia and Herzegovina's only access to the Mediterranean .


    The Stari Most in Mostar , built in 1566, destroyed in 1993, rebuilt from 2002–2004


    A traditional style of music is Sevdalinka - Bosnian folk music, the character of which was strongly influenced by Ottoman influences. Folk music also contains characteristics of the music of the Sinti and Roma and other ethnic groups. A well-known representative of the Sevdalinka was Safet Isović until his death . The Sevdalinka is generally only well received by the older Bosnian population and some of the older Bosniaks living in Montenegro and Serbia. On the other hand, the so-called Narodna muzika , which is a mixture of former Yugoslav folk music, pop and partly techno music, is more popular. This has generally been the most popular in Serbo-Croatian-speaking countries since its creation (around 1980).

    Well-known international musicians from Bosnia-Herzegovina are Goran Bregović and his former band Bijelo dugme, the singers Zdravko Čolić , Lepa Brena and Dino Merlin as well as the rappers Edo Maajka and Frenkie . The rock / pop groups Zabranjeno Pušenje , Plavi orkestar , Indexi , Crvena jabuka and Hari Mata Hari as well as the heavy metal band Divlje Jagode were among the best-known and most popular Yugoslavia alongside Bijelo dugme. The musical center of this modern Bosnian music was Sarajevo.


    Since the end of the war, some Bosnian films have also received international awards. Among them were Ničija Zemlja (German no man's land , English No Man's Land ) by Danis Tanović from 2001, of a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar was given, and the film Grbavica , which at the Berlinale was in 2006 a Golden Bear. The film Welcome to Sarajevo starring Woody Harrelson also received great critical acclaim. The film deals with the siege of Sarajevo in the early 1990s. The director Emir Kusturica ( black cat, white cat ; life is a miracle ) comes from Sarajevo. Danis Tanović's film Smrt u Sarajevu received the Silver Bear at the 2016 Berlinale .

    The Sarajevo Film Festival is the cinematic and cultural highlight every August and attracts more and more tourists from abroad.


    The three most important daily newspapers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are Dnevni avaz (German daily voice ) and Oslobođenje (German: liberation ), both of which appear in Bosnian in Sarajevo, and Nezavisne novine (German: the independent newspaper ), which in Banja Luka in Serbian and Latin script appears. There are also a number of political weekly newspapers such as Slobodna Bosna (German Free Bosnia ) or Dani (German days ). Magazines that report on current affairs or stars of folk music are also popular , such as Express or Svet (German: Die Welt ; a newspaper of the same name and format is also published in Serbia).

    Bosnia and Herzegovina has a tripartite public radio and television system, with a national television and radio station from the BHRT (BHTV 1 and BH Radio 1) and one entity television and radio station, RTVFBiH (FTV and Radio F.) in the Federation and the RTRS (RTRS TV and RTRS RRS) (Cyrillic: PTPC) in the Republika Srpska. Some private channels such as BN TV, OBN or NTV Hayat can be received across the country. Cable television , which feeds in channels from neighboring countries and the German-speaking area, is very popular . The new Al Jazeera Balkans TV channel from Sarajevo has been broadcasting since November 11, 2011 , initially six hours a day in the local language.

    In 2016, 61.6% of the population used the internet.

    In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Bosnia and Herzegovina was ranked 65th out of 180. According to the non-governmental organization, there are “recognizable problems” with regard to press freedom in the country.


    The 1984 Winter Olympics were held in Sarajevo and the surrounding area . In Bosnia and Herzegovina, soccer and basketball are the most popular sports. In football, the country has steadily developed and improved. The country almost qualified for the 2004 European Football Championship , in the last game against Denmark only one win against their direct competitors was missing, but in the end the game ended 1: 1, so Denmark was at the 2004 European Championship. In the World Cup qualification In 2014 the national team prevailed and took part in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The team under the former coach Safet Sušić lost two of the three group games and ended the World Cup with third place in the group. Famous players in the national team are Edin Džeko , Miralem Pjanić , Vedad Ibišević and many more. The national basketball team has qualified for six European championships so far, most recently in 2011. The nation's most famous basketball player is Mirza Teletović , who is active for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA .

    At the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens , the Bosnian-Herzegovinian volleyball team won the gold medal.

    The national chess team achieved a success at international level for Bosnia with second place at the 1994 Chess Olympiad in Moscow.

    to eat and drink

    Bosnian stew (Lonac)

    The country kitchen has many specialties to offer, e.g. B. Bosanski Lonac , Ćevapi , Lokum ("Turkish honey"), Pita (Pide) in all varieties of vegetables. There are also Sogan Dolma , Somun , Japrak , Baklava , Halva , Burek , Sarma and much more. It is heavily influenced by Turkish cuisine . Turkish coffee, which is boiled in a special coffee pot, and home-made plum brandy ( Šlivovic ) are common drinks.

    Holidays and celebrations

    In addition to religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter (for the Croats and Serbs), and the Islamic festivals Ramazanski Bajram (at the end of Ramadan ) and Kurban Bajram (at the time of the pilgrimage to Mecca ), the following holidays apply in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

    • New Year ( Nova Godina ): January 1st and 2nd are national holidays, New Year's Eve is splendidly celebrated and January 13th (Serbian New Year according to the Julian calendar)
    • Labor Day ( Prvi maj ): May 1st and 2nd are national holidays, Labor Day is used as an occasion for large public celebrations

    The following holidays are also celebrated in the Federation:

    In the Republika Srpska, March 1st and November 25th are not celebrated, but January 9th as Republic Day ( Dan Republike ) and November 21st (Dayton Agreement).

    In addition, there are local holidays in the various communities and villages, which are mainly inhabited by Croats, which are based on the Christian calendar (e.g. name days of saints, "little Easter" etc.). A special holiday is the name day of the patron saint of every place. In addition to a very well-attended mass and possibly a procession, there are celebrations in most houses and squares, to which the residents of the neighboring towns also come.

    See also

    Portal: Bosnia and Herzegovina  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of Bosnia and Herzegovina


    Literary appreciations can be found in the complete works of the Nobel Prize laureate Ivo Andrić , especially in his main work The Bridge over the Drina . Zsolnay 2011, ISBN 978-3-552-05523-0 .

    • Archduke Rudolf : The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Words and Images , Volume 22 Bosnia and Herzegovina, kk Hof- und Staatsdruckerei 1901, online
    • Sanda Cudic: Multiculturalism and multiculturalism in Bosnia-Herzegovina: a case study on the formation, meaning and regulation of collective identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina (= European University Theses , Series 31, Politics , Volume 438). Lang, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin / Bern / Bruxelles / New York / Oxford / Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-631-38184-0 (Dissertation Uni Gießen, 2000, 290 pages).
    • Friedrich Jäger: Bosniaks, Croats, Serbs: A Guide to Their History , Lang, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin / Bern / Bruxelles / New York / Oxford / Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-631-37503-4 .
    • Rusmir Mahmutćehajić : The Denial of Bosnia. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park 2000, ISBN 978-0-271-02030-3 .
    • Erich Rathfelder : intersection Sarajevo. Bosnia and Herzegovina ten years after Dayton: Muslims, Orthodox, Catholics and Jews are building a common state . Schiler, Berlin 2006. ISBN 3-89930-108-0 .
    • Franz Schaffer (Ed.): Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina: new states on the edge of Central Europe; Results of a day of seminars at the University of Augsburg in May 1996 , Applied Social Geography , No. 37, Chair for Social and Economic Geography, University of Augsburg, Augsburg 1997, ISBN 3-923273-37-1 .
    • Ernst Klaus Schmidt: Bosnia-Herzegovina: a political-economic- geographic analysis of development opportunities , Tübingen 2009, DNB 99870914X ( Dissertation Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen , Faculty of Geosciences, 2009, 460 pages ( online , PDF, free of charge, 460 pages, 7.1 MB) ).
    • Steven W. Sowards: Modern History of the Balkans. The Balkans in the Age of Nationalism (translation, comments and additions by Georg Liebetrau), Book-on-Demand G. Liebetrau, Seuzach [Begonienstr. 7] 2004, ISBN 3-8334-0977-0 .
    • Dominik Tolksdorf: The EU and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Foreign policy in search of coherence (= Munich Contributions to European Unification , Volume 23), Nomos, Baden-Baden 2012, ISBN 978-3-8329-7408-4 (Abridged and updated version of the dissertation Ludwig Maximilians University Munich 2010) .

    Web links

    Commons : Bosnia and Herzegovina  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
    Wiktionary: Bosnia-Herzegovina  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
    Wikisource: Bosnia and Herzegovina  - Sources and full texts
    Wikimedia Atlas: Bosnia and Herzegovina  - geographical and historical maps

    Individual evidence

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    7. [2] United Nations Development Program ( UNDP ),
    8. a b CIA The World Factbook
    9. Landscape zones on
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    11. ^ The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved July 20, 2017 (English).
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    14. ^ Federal Foreign Office, country information
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    17. ^ Marie-Janine Calic: War and Peace in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1996 (expanded new edition), p. 94
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    19. Switzerland and the world
    21. Cultural and educational policy. In: 2014, accessed February 28, 2015 .
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    40. Focus East-Southeast of Deutsche Welle
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    43. Preliminary results of the 2013 census
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    45. 2013 census, source: Agencija za statistiku Bosne i Hercegovine: Popis stanovništva, domaćinstava i stanova u Bosni i Hercegovini, 2013. Rezultati popisa. (pdf, 19.7 MB) Sarajevo, June 2016; P. 55
    46. Discrimination: No high state offices for Jews and Roma ( memento of July 10, 2012 in the web archive ) Juridicum Journal, January 8, 2010 (archived website)
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    49. Unemployment, youth total (% of total labor force ages 15-24) (modeled ILO estimate) | Data. Retrieved August 17, 2017 (American English).
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    67. Internet Users by Country (2016) - Internet Live Stats. Retrieved July 15, 2017 .
    68. Ranking list of press freedom. Reporters Without Borders, accessed August 13, 2017 .
    69. OlimpBase: 31st Chess Olympiad, Moscow 1994, standings. In: Retrieved February 28, 2015 .

    Coordinates: 44 °  N , 18 °  E