Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina Destinations Travel Guide

 

Language: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian

Currency: Convertible Mark (BAM)

Calling Code: 387

 

Description of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina, commonly called Bosnia-Herzegovina, or simply Bosnia, is a European sovereign country, with capital in Sarajevo, located at the confluence of central and south-eastern Europe, and bordering Croatia, north, west and south ; with Serbia to the east; with Montenegro to the east and south, and with the Adriatic Sea (only 30 kilometers).

In 1992 the former Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina gained its independence as Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as one of the six constituent federal units of the former Yugoslavia that emerged at the end of the First World War, and after the Bosnian War was constituted as federal republic under the terms of the Dayton Agreements (1995), which provided for its administration supervised by a high representative elected by the Council of the European Union. Its structure is decentralized and divided into two entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. At the moment, there is no expected date for the end of the European protectorate over Bosnia and Herzegovina and the recovery of its full sovereignty. It should be noted that Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only country in Europe that is a member of the G-77, a group of 77 plus China.

 

Travel Destinations in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo
Banja Luka
Bihać
Jajce
Mostar
Neum
Tuzla
Teslic
Zenica

Blidinje Nature Park

Bobovac

Bosnian Pyramids

Fortress of Doboj

Jajce Castle

Maglaj Fortress

Pocitelj Castle

Srebrenik Fortress

Sutjeska National Park

 

Population

As of June 30, 2019, the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina was estimated at 3,415,752; according to the last census of 2013 - 3,473,078 people.

According to the 1991 census, the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina was 4,377,033 people, which is 3.8 times the population of 1879, when the country was occupied by Austria-Hungary. The share of children under the age of 14 accounted for 23.5% of the total population, for adults aged 15 to 64 years - 67.7% and those who were over 65 years old - 6.5%.

According to the UN, the population growth rate for 2010-2015 was -0.1%, while the urban population - 0.1%, rural - -0.3%; the share of the urban population in 2014 is 39.6%; life expectancy for men - 73.7, for women - 78.8 years. During the Bosnian War (1992-1995), about a million people left Bosnia and Herzegovina, mostly Serbs and Croats. The literacy rate in 2011, according to UNESCO, was 98%.

 

National and religious composition

According to the 2013 census, 50.11% of those who participated identified themselves as Bosniaks, 30.78% Serbs and 15.43% Croats; by religion: 50.7% - Muslims, 30.7% - Orthodox, 15.2% - Catholics.

According to the 1991 census, 43.5% of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina identified themselves as "Muslim", 31.2% - Serbs, 17.4% - Croats and 5.6% - Yugoslavs. Among the national minorities in the country lived 0.2% of Montenegrins, 0.2% of Roma, 0.1% of Albanians, 0.1% of Ukrainians, 0.1% of Slovenes and 0.1% of Macedonians. Several hundred people identified themselves as Hungarians, Italians, Czechs, Poles, Germans, Jews, Russians, Slovaks, Turks, Romanians and Ruthenians. According to 2005 data, over 10% of the population were Roma.

Serbs and Croats have lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina for centuries. Bosniaks (during the existence of Yugoslavia - "Muslims") as a people developed as a result of the policy of Islamization, which was carried out by the Ottoman Empire. Before World War II, Serbs made up the majority of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the war, as a result of the Ustasha terror and the mass destruction of Serbs, and the simultaneous resettlement of Croats and Muslims from Kosovo, Macedonia, Vojvodina and other regions, the Serbian population was greatly reduced, and in the intercensal period for 1961-1971, the number of Muslims exceeded the number of Serbs.

In connection with the proclamation of religious freedom after the 1953 census, no official count of the number of believers in Yugoslavia was carried out. According to tradition, religious affiliation was determined by nationality. For the most part, believing Serbs profess Orthodoxy, believing Croats - Catholicism, believing Bosniaks - Islam. Among the Protestants are Lutherans, who are united in the independent Evangelical Church of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Vojvodina.

 

Settlement system

According to the preliminary results of the 2013 census, the average population density was 74.8 people/km², in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina - 90.9 people/km², in the Republika Srpska - 53 people/km². At the same time, the highest population density is present in the central regions and in the north of the country. The population is concentrated in the river valleys, the mountainous regions are sparsely populated. The share of the urban population in 2003 was 43%. In 2001, over 1 million people were employed in the economy.

According to the 1991 census, there were 5,825 settlements in the country, 39 of which had a population of over 10,000 inhabitants. The modern network of cities developed in the 20th century, when Sarajevo was the administrative center and the largest city in the country, the cities of Banja Luka, Tuzla, Zenica and Mostar were major regional centers, and Bihac, Prijedor, Doboj, Brcko, Modrica and Trebinje were regional centers. The largest urbanized region of the country is located in the Sarajevo-Zenitsa basin in the upper reaches of Bosna and is called Bosna-Lashva, which includes the Sarajevo and Zenitsko-Travnik agglomerations. Herzegovina is the least urbanized region of the country.

 

Language of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina does not define official languages. However, researchers Hilary Foottit and Michael Kelly note that the Dayton Accords were signed in "Bosnian, Croatian, English and Serbian", and therefore these languages ​​(excluding English) are "de facto recognized as the three official languages". The equal status of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian was confirmed by the Constitutional Court in 2000. The three languages ​​are mutually intelligible and, from a linguistic point of view, are ethnolects of the Serbo-Croatian language. According to the 2013 census, 52.9% of the participants identified Bosnian as their language, 30.8% Serbian and 14.5% Croatian.

According to the European Charter for Regional Languages, Bosnia and Herzegovina recognizes the following minority languages: Albanian, Montenegrin, Czech, Italian, Hungarian, Macedonian, German, Polish, Romanian, Ruthenian, Slovak, Slovenian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Yiddish and Ladino. The German-speaking minority of Bosnia and Herzegovina mainly consists of Danube Swabians who settled in these lands during the Habsburg Monarchy. Due to deportation and forced assimilation after World War II, the number of ethnic Germans in Bosnia and Herzegovina has significantly decreased.

 

Photo and video

Be advised that making photos and videos is allowed only in the areas where there is no sign prohibiting this. It is generally forbidden to make pictures of transport infrastructure, energy facilities, port facilities and military sites.

 

Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the southeast of Europe, in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula. The country is formed by two historical regions: Bosnia, which occupies the Sava river basin, and Herzegovina, located in the south, in the Neretva river basin. The area is 51,209.2 km², including 51,197 km² of land and 12.2 km² of sea water. According to this indicator, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks 125th in the world and 26th in Europe. The geographical center of the country is located in the area of ​​the village of Krchevine in the community of Vitez. The maximum length of the country from east to west (in the northern part), as well as from north to south, is about 280 km.

The state border of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a length of 1551 km, including 905 km of the land section, 625 km along the rivers (Sava, Drina and Una) and 21 km by sea. The length of the border with Croatia is 936 km, with Serbia - 350 km and with Montenegro - 244 km.

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to various sources, covers an area of ​​26,098 km² or 26,110.5 km² (about 51% of the country's territory); the area of ​​the Republika Srpska is 24,641 km² or 24,605.7 km² (about 48% of the country's territory); the area of ​​​​Brčko County is 493 km² (about 1% of the country's territory).

Relief
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a typically mountainous country: the mountainous landscape occupies more than 90% of the country's territory. The altitude in Bosnia and Herzegovina tends to decrease from the center to the south, to the Adriatic coast, and to the north, to the Sava river. Somewhat to the south there is a strip of low mountains and fertile intermountain basins, turning into the Dinaric Highlands, the height of which reaches more than 2300 meters. The mountains of Herzegovina, almost devoid of any vegetation, are dissected by intermountain depressions and are composed of off-white and gray limestone rocks. The country is almost entirely located within the Dinaric highlands. A chain of mountain ranges with gently sloping peaks and intermountain basins stretches from the northwest to the southeast. The central part is dominated by mountain ranges of medium and high height, in the north and south - low mountains and hills. The eastern part of the Dinaric Highlands is the Bosnian Mountains, which include the high-altitude Bosnian Ore Mountains. The highest peak is Mount Maglich with a height of 2386 m. Among the common karst landforms are caves, underground rivers, limestone rocks, and karrs. Large fields are located in the intermountain basins, the largest of which is Livansko-Polya with an area of ​​405 km², the smaller ones are Duvansko-Polya and Glamochko-Polya. In the north - the Middle Danube lowland, covering the plain of the Sava river valley with extensive river valleys. In the south-west of the country, near the city of Neum, there is a mountainous coast of the Adriatic Sea with a length of about 20 km.

Geological structure and minerals
Bosnia and Herzegovina is located within the boundaries of the Dinarid - Dinaric fold system, which belongs to the Alpine-Himalayan mobile belt with a cover-zonal structure. The outer zones of the Dinarids, which are the remains of the cover of the continental block of Adria torn off at different times, were formed by sedimentary strata of the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Paleogene eras. The inner zones are composed of covers of Cretaceous limestones, Jurassic ophiolites, and Cretaceous-Paleogene flysch, the remains of the crust of the Tethys Ocean basin. There are intrusions of granitoids of Cenozoic origin; depressions of small size, composed of Neogene coal-bearing deposits. The territory of the country is highly prone to earthquakes. So, the earthquake in Banja Luka in 1969 caused the destruction of the city.

Of the minerals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the most significant are bauxites, whose deposits are located mainly in karst areas. Among the bauxite-bearing regions: Yajce, Bosanska Krupa, Mostar and others; brown coal (Central Bosnian and Banovichi basins); lignites (Kamnegrad basin); iron ores (districts Varesh, Lyubiya, Omarska); asbestos (Bosansko-Petrovo-Selo area). Deposits of rock salt, natural building materials, manganese (Chevlyanovichi, Buzhim) and mercury (Drazhevich) ores, barite (Kreshevo) have been explored.

Soils, flora and fauna
Fertile alluvial soils are common in the Sava river basin, brown soils - in mountainous areas. Forests account for 44% of the area of ​​Bosnia and Herzegovina, or 2273 thousand hectares, of which about 2.5% are artificial forest plantations. In the north of the country, broad-leaved forests have given way to agricultural land. Hornbeam-oak forests, as well as linden, maple and elm grow on the northern slopes of the mountains at an altitude of up to 500 m and in the foothills. In the central part of the country, beech forests grow, at an altitude of over 800 m - fir-beech forests, as well as spruce and pine. Among the endemics is Serbian spruce, which can be found in the southeastern regions of the country. At an altitude of over 1600 m, subalpine meadows and crooked forests grow. On the brown soils of the southwestern slopes, holm oak, evergreen shrubs and maquis grow. At an altitude of over 300 m, on soddy-calcareous soils, a combination of forests with shiblyak is common.

 

Animals such as brown bear, wolf, forest cat, European lynx, marten, red deer, roe deer, chamois, otter, and wild boar live in mountainous areas. Snakes, lizards and turtles live in karst-type areas. Large birds include capercaillie, eagles and falcons. Protected natural areas include the national parks Sutjeska, Kozara and Una, as well as the natural parks Blidinje and Hutovo Blato.

Inland waters
Bosnia and Herzegovina has an extensive and dense network of rivers with a total length of about 2000 km. The sources of most of the country's surface and underground watercourses are located in the Dinaric Highlands. Most of the territory belongs to the Danube river basin. Major rivers: Sava with tributaries Drina, Bosna, Vrbas, Sana and Una. About ¼ of the rivers belong to the Adriatic Sea basin, the largest of which is the Neretva. The largest lakes are Bilechko and Bushko, which are of karst origin. Renewable water resources account for 38 km³ annually. Mountain rivers contribute to the development of hydropower: about 30 reservoirs have been built. No more than 3% of water resources are involved in economic activity, more than half of which is used in agriculture, about a third - for domestic purposes, 10% - for industrial purposes. The Trebišnica River is the largest disappearing river on the planet.

Mineral water springs are located in Srebrenica, Kakan, Zepa, Tešan, Zepce, Maglaj, Busovac, Kiseljak and other places. Geothermal springs are located in Tuzla, Gradacce, Olov, Fojnica, Banja Luka, Teslic. At the resort in Ilidzha, the temperature of sulphurous water reaches 58°C.

 

Climate

The climate is mostly temperate continental, with warm summers and moderately cool winters. The average July temperature in the plains is 19-21°C, in the mountains - 12-18°C. The average January temperature in the plains ranges from 0 to -2°C, in the mountains - from -4 to -7°C. The level of precipitation in the plains is 800-1000 mm per year, in the mountains - 1500-1800 mm. Subtropical Mediterranean climate prevails in the south and southwest. Summers in these areas are dry and hot with an average July temperature of 25°C; winters are humid and warm with an average January temperature of 5°C. The level of precipitation is up to 1600 mm per year, with the maximum precipitation falling in November-December.

 

Safety while you travel in Bosnia and Herzegovina

It is not recommended to make any comments about the recent Balkan War that resulted in break up of Yugoslavia. The memories is still very alive in the region and opinions very greatly on its outcomes and causes.

 

Emergency Numbers

One emergency service 112

Ambulance 124

Fire 123

Police 122

 

Etymology

The name of the country consists of words denoting historical regions: Bosnia and Herzegovina. Abbreviated as BiH. Bosnia under the name "Bosona" (ancient Greek Βοσωνα) was first mentioned in the essay "On the Administration of the Empire", written by Constantine Porphyrogenitus around 950. The toponym "Bosnia" is presumably of pre-Slavic origin; comes from the Bosna River, on the banks of which the Bosnian state was born. The name of Herzegovina comes from the Hungarian herceg - "duke". It is historically connected with the Bosnian feudal lord Stepan Vukcic, who in 1448 accepted the title of governor or duke of St. Sava, which is why later his possessions, which made up the medieval region of Hum, were called Herzegovina. During the Turkish rule, the name was assigned to the Herzegovina Sanjak (tur. Hersek Sancağı) formed on the Khum lands. Herzegovina was separated into an independent administrative unit by the Turks in 1833 in connection with unrest in Bosnia. In 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina was occupied by Austria-Hungary in accordance with the Treaty of Berlin and in 1908 became part of the empire as a separate self-governing territory under the supreme rule of Austria and Hungary. In 1910, the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina was adopted. The annexation of Bosnia by Austria-Hungary was the cause of the Bosnian Crisis.

After the collapse of Yugoslavia, in 1992-1997, the official name of the state was "Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina". Following the 1995 Dayton Accords and the adoption of a new constitution, the official name was changed to "Bosnia and Herzegovina".

 

History of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The oldest inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina were Neanderthals who lived here in the Early Paleolithic. In the Bronze Age, Illyrian tribes settled on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the IV century BC. Celts came here, which in time partially merged with the more numerous Illyrians. Since the 1st century AD - under the rule of Ancient Rome: as part of the provinces of Upper, Lower Pannonia and Dalmatia. Since the VI century - as part of Byzantium. In the VI – VII centuries it was inhabited by Serbs. Bosnia as a tribal reign is mentioned in the X century.

According to the Byzantine emperor Konstantin Bagryanorodny, Serbs appeared in the Balkans in the 1st half of the 7th century. They occupied the territories of modern Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and parts of Croatia. After resettlement on the Balkan Peninsula, the first territorial associations of the Serbs, like most of the southern Slavs, had zhups. The Illyrians were assimilated by the Slavs or migrated to the mountainous regions, where they continued to live under the name of the Vlachs. Some time after the resettlement to the Balkans, the Serbs formed several large communities, which then became state entities. Between the rivers Cetina and Neretva there was the Principality of Neretva with the nearby islands, which the Byzantines called Pagania. The area between Neretva and Dubrovnik was called Zahumye. The lands from Dubrovnik to the Bay of Kotor were occupied by Travunia and Konavle. Further south, to the Boyana River, was Duklja, which later became known as Zeta. Between the rivers Sava, Vrbas and Ibar there was Raska, and between the rivers Drina and Bosna - Bosnia. After the death of the Serbian prince Caslav Klonimirovich, Bosnia fell away from his state. In 1018, it nominally came under the rule of Byzantium. At the beginning of the XII century, part of Bosnia as a result of wars fell into Hungary. The Hungarian king received the title ramae rex (king of Rama, that is, Bosnia), since the state lay mainly in the valley of the Rama river. The king of Hungary appointed his governors, the bans, to rule Bosnia.

Bosnian state
Bosnia, which originally arose in the basin of the Bosnia and Vrbas rivers, as an integrated state formation appeared, probably, in the X-XI centuries. At the head of this state was a ban. At the beginning of the XII century, the Duklian state collapsed, and Bosnia gained independence. After the Byzantine-Hungarian war in the 1160s, Bosnia fell under Byzantium for 13 years, after which it returned to the rule of the Hungarian kingdom as a vassal. The country was divided into regions called zhups [en] *. The first known church organization in Bosnia at the end of the 11th century was the Catholic Bishop Archbishopric.

At the end of the XII century, the first heretics appeared under the bathhouse Kulin, who united in the Bosnian church. In 1234, to fight the heresy at the call of the popes, devastating campaigns of Hungarian feudal lords began, who dreamed of subjugating Bosnia. Ancient Bosnian literature was closely associated with the Bosnian church. Stepan Kotromanich significantly expanded the state to the west and north, including Hum. Ban Stepan Tvrtko was married in 1377 in the Serbian monastery of Mileshev at the tomb of St. Sava as "king of the Serbs, Bosnia, Pomerania and Western countries." After the death of Stepan Tvrtko, the central authority weakened, the Bosnian ruler strengthened, primarily of such clans as Horvatini, Kosachi and Pavlovich. The last king of Bosnia, Stepan Tomashevich (the last ruler of a medieval Serbian state in 1459), under the threat of a Turkish invasion of Bosnia, turned to Rome and Venice for help, and refused to pay a devastating tribute to the country to the Sultan. In response to this, in 1463, Sultan Mehmed II with his army invaded Bosnia. In the same year, Stepan Tomashevich was executed near the city of Egg, the Bosnian state ceased to exist. In 1482 Herzegovina was completely conquered.

Turkish period
For the sake of saving their own property, Bosnian feudal lords were forced to convert to Islam, which in the second half of the 16th century completely supplanted Christianity in the upper strata of the population. Feudal-dependent peasants were called paradise. Fortresses with military garrisons operated in many cities in the Balkans, and by the sixteenth century the ethnic composition of large cities had changed dramatically, the main population of which were the Turkish colonists and Turchens, who eventually lost touch with the national culture. The Islamization of the urban population guaranteed more favorable conditions for trade and crafts. Unlike Herzegovina and Serbia, in Bosnia, peasants massively converted to Islam. The city of Sarajevo became a major trade and craft center of Bosnia, cities such as Foca, Banja Luka, Livno, Mostar grew. At the same time, a number of old trade and craft centers fell into decay. In 1580, the Bosnian Eylet was created.

 

In the first half of the XIX century, the Bosnian feudal lords of the country opposed the reforms carried out by Turkey. To weaken the Bosnian opposition, the Turkish government in 1833 separated Herzegovina from Bosnia. The power of Turkey was established only in 1851. In the first half of the 19th century, a national liberation movement developed in the Catholic clergy was developed in the country. Its result was the Bosnian-Herzegovinian uprising of 1875-1878. In 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina gained autonomy over the San Stefano Peace concluded between Russia and the Ottoman Empire after the end of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Soon, however, according to the Berlin treaty of the same year, Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina from July to October 1878.

XX century
In 1908, Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. Part of the society of Bosnia and Herzegovina hoped for the liberation of the country from the power of Austria-Hungary and the creation of a state led by Serbia. In 1913-1914, the Serbian nationalist organization Mlada Bosna was formed. Among its participants was Gavrilo Princip, who on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo, committed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia, which led to the outbreak of the First World War.

On October 29, 1918, during the collapse of Austria-Hungary, the Croatian Sabor in Zagreb proclaimed the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, whose authorities immediately announced their cessation of participation in the war. On December 1 of that year, the state merged with the Serbian Kingdom and Montenegro into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1929, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian constituencies in the state under the new name of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia entered the Vrba, Drinsky, Zeta, and Primorsky bans. After the German attack on Yugoslavia on April 10, 1941, the Ustashi proclaimed the "Independent Croatian State", which included the lands of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By the end of May 1945, Bosnia was liberated from the German Ustash invaders. During the war, about 407 thousand inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina were killed, many settlements were almost completely destroyed, including the cities of Bosanska Krup, Klyuch, Glamoch, Visegrad, Bihach, Bosanski Brod and others.

In 1945, the People’s Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, and since 1963, the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In the 1960s, the ratio in the number of Orthodox and Muslims in favor of the latter changed. In 1961, I. Tito granted Muslims the status of a nation (now Bosniaks). During the years of the existence of socialist Yugoslavia, the republic especially strictly observed the principle of “brotherhood and unity” of peoples, appointing equal numbers of representatives of three nationalities to positions in government bodies and institutions. In 1984, in the midst of a deep economic crisis that erupted after the death of I. Tito, the XIV Winter Olympic Games were held in Sarajevo.

After a referendum and declaration of independence in the spring of 1992, a Bosnian war broke out that swept the whole country. Muslims fought against the Serbs or Croats depending on the region, sometimes they fought together with the Croats against the Serbs. The conflict ended with NATO military intervention and the signing of the Dayton Accords on December 14, 1995, which provided for the preservation of a single state consisting of two parts: the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska.

 

Symbolism

The coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1998 is a blue shield with a yellow triangle in the upper right corner, along which is a row of white five-pointed stars. The emblem of the Austro-Hungarian Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1889 was a yellow shield with a red hand holding a sword. The coat of arms of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1948 was a green wreath of beech branches on the left and spruce on the right intertwined with a red ribbon, with a red five-pointed star at the top, inside the wreath was placed an image of two crossed sheaves of wheat, above them - two smoking factory chimneys against the background of a silhouette city ​​of Yayce. The emblem of the independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 was a blue shield, divided into two parts by a white stripe with six golden lilies.

The 1998 flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a blue panel with a yellow triangle in the middle, along which a row of white five-pointed stars is located on a blue background. The flag of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a red panel with the flag of Yugoslavia in the upper left corner. The flag of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a white cloth with the coat of arms of this republic placed in the center. The anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina, written by Banja Luka composer Dušan Šestić, was adopted in 1999.

 

Constitutional order

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a parliamentary republic in its form of government. The official languages ​​are Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina is Annex No. 4 of the Dayton Accords, signed in Paris on December 14, 1995. The Republika Srpska exists on the basis of its own Constitution, adopted on September 14, 1992. The Dayton Accords established the position of High Representative, with ultimate authority and sole authority to interpret the Constitution and laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

State structure

Bosnia and Herzegovina is usually referred to as federal states in terms of the form of government. The Dayton Agreement, the constitution and laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina do not contain specific language on the unitary or federal nature of the relationship between the entities. Also in Bosnia and Herzegovina there are no state structures directly called federal. From a formal point of view, Bosnia is a unitary decentralized state. However, the Bosnian central government is so weak that the literature sometimes characterizes Bosnia not even as a federation, but as a confederation or quasi-confederation. The main difference from the confederation in this case is the absence of the right to withdraw entities from its composition. The political system of the country reflects the results of the civil war of 1992-96, when there was a confrontation between the Serbian, Bosnian-Muslim and Croat communities. The Dayton Accords consolidated the situation in which neither community achieved its goals.

According to the 1995 constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the state consists of two entities (entities): the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. The jurisdiction of Bosnia and Herzegovina includes foreign, foreign trade, customs and monetary policy; financial support of the central authorities and international obligations of the state; policies related to immigration, refugees and asylum; enforcement of inter-entity criminal law and international criminal law provisions, including relations with INTERPOL; establishment and operation of municipal and international means of communication; regulation of transport between entities; air traffic control. In 1999, the Posavino Corridor Arbitration Commission, in violation of the Dayton Accords, proclaimed the independence of the Brcko District, which is under international supervision.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the country in 2018 was classified on the Democracy Index as a hybrid regime.

 

Branches

The authorities at the national level include the Presidium, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Ministers. The voting age starts at 18 years of age. The Parliamentary Assembly is a legislative body consisting of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the House of Peoples. The powers of the Parliamentary Assembly are the adoption of laws and the budget, the approval of decisions of the Presidium, the ratification of international treaties. The Federation of BiH and the Republika Srpska have their own parliaments, governments and presidents, as well as independent legal systems. The collective head of state is the Presidium, consisting of three members of the state-forming peoples. The term of office of the presidium is 4 years with the right to be re-elected once. The Chairman of the Presidium is elected by the members of the Presidium from among its members. The powers of the Presidium include foreign policy issues, the appointment of ambassadors and other international representatives. Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers, whose chairman is approved by the House of Representatives and appointed by the Presidium.

The main political parties include the nationwide Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the predominantly Bosnian Party For Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian Democratic Action Party, the predominantly Serbian Social Democratic Party, the Serbian Democratic Party, the Croatian Democratic Union and the Christian Democratic Party.

Judicial system
The judicial system includes the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina; constitutional and supreme (the highest instance of courts of general jurisdiction) courts of the Federation of BiH and the Republika Srpska; the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the highest instance for the Brcko District Court of Appeal; 16 cantonal and district courts (second instance of courts of general jurisdiction) and 51 communal and main courts (first instance of courts of general jurisdiction); Supreme Commercial Court in Banja Luka.

 

Foreign policy

Bosnia and Herzegovina has diplomatic relations (at the beginning of 2016) with 165 countries of the world, with the exception of Monaco in Europe and a number of countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania and Central America. Diplomatic representations of Bosnia and Herzegovina (at the beginning of 2016) are available in 45 countries of the world on all continents except South America. In addition to embassies, there are also general consulates in Germany, the USA, Italy and Turkey, and a cultural center has been opened in Croatia. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the five successor states of the former Yugoslavia. The state pursues foreign policy in accordance with the following priorities (at the beginning of 2016): integration into NATO; participation in the UN, Council of Europe, OSCE, Organization of Islamic Cooperation; accession to the WTO. In 2008, a stabilization and association agreement was signed with the European Union. Diplomatic missions of 97 states of the world are open in the country. A visa-free stay in the country (at the beginning of 2016) is valid for citizens of the Western world, Russia, Ukraine and some countries of Latin America and Asia.

On February 15, 2016, Bosnian President Dragan Covic officially submitted an application for the country's accession to the EU. On September 20, 2016, the EU countries officially accepted this request.

 

Defense of the country

According to the adopted military doctrine of the state, Bosnia and Herzegovina, being "by its geostrategic position ... an important factor of stability and security in the region, Europe and beyond ..., expressed its readiness to fully accept the rights and obligations that belong to the family of equal European and Euro-Atlantic states" . The armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina are maintained in combat readiness to protect the citizens of the country, the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the state, ensure the independence policy, fulfill international obligations and other things. The armed forces include ground forces, air force and air defense. The supreme command of the armed forces is exercised by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina exports weapons (to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and other countries), in 2014 the volume of exports of military products amounted to 93.8 million convertible marks. The military conscription was abolished in 2006. Defense spending in 2014 amounted to 0.98% of the country's GDP.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the OSCE and the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe, a member of the NATO Partnership for Peace program, in 2010 received an action plan for joining NATO.

 

Economy

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a moderately developed agrarian-industrial state.

Advantages: Successfully transitioned to a stable market economy. Low inflation (1.4%). Relatively high economic growth (above the European average), and low public debt (below the European average). Still relatively cheap, and well-educated, in comparison with the countries of Europe, the labor force. With the unemployment rate plummeting and the labor shortage widening, wage growth as of 2019 is not constrained by the economic slowdown.

Weaknesses: Poor resource base. Strong corruption. Slowly advancing market reforms. Low investment in infrastructure and R&D. The biggest problem, which is also inherent in other relatively poor countries in Europe, is the increasing shortage of able-bodied labor force every year and the increase in the number of pensioners due to low birth rates and high emigration of the population to other, richer, countries of the world.

Prior to socialist industrialization, the lands of Bosnia and Herzegovina were mainly agricultural. In the 1950s-1980s, hydro and thermal power plants, defense industry plants, and heavy industry enterprises were built here, using mainly local resources. Ores of non-ferrous and ferrous metals, coal, rock salt were mined; the production of steel and rolled products, aluminum, coke, chemical products, paper, and cellulose increased. In the SFRY, the republic officially belonged to the economically less developed regions of the country (along with Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo). For example, wages in the republic in 1988 were 1.8 times less than in Slovenia. During the Bosnian War of 1992-1995, the country's economy and infrastructure were destroyed. From January 1, 2017, the minimum net wage in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is 410 marks (207.90 euros). From June 1, 2021, the net minimum wage in Republika Srpska is 540 marks (276.43 euros). The average gross salary in Republika Srpska as of April 2021 is DM 1,518 (€776.96) and net is DM 978 (€500.57). The average gross wage in Bosnia and Herzegovina as of March 2021 is DM 1,548 (€792.50) and net is DM 996 (€509.90). From January 1, 2022, the minimum net wage in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is 543 marks (277.71 euros). From January 1, 2022, the minimum net wage is required by law to be 55% of the average net salary in the period from January to September 2021 – 543 marks net (277.71 euros). From January 1, 2022, the net minimum wage in Republika Srpska is DM 590 (EUR 301.97).

During the period from 1994 to 2014, the volume of direct investments from abroad amounted to 6 billion euros, including from Austria - 1.3 billion euros, Serbia - 1.1 billion, Croatia - 780 million, Russia - 518 million, Slovenia - 462 million, Germany - 326 million, Switzerland - 278 million, the Netherlands - 235 million, Great Britain - 180 million, Luxembourg - 169 million - in telecommunications, 11% - in trade. From 2006 to 2014, the country received an average of 468 million euros of foreign direct investment per year, the largest amount of which came in 2007 (1329 million euros, the time of the privatization of large state-owned enterprises). The foreign trade of Bosnia and Herzegovina is mainly focused on the countries of the European Union. In 2014, the geographic distribution of Bosnia and Herzegovina's foreign trade (as of 2014) was as follows:
EU countries - 64.0% ($10.7 billion)
Russia - 5.5% ($0.9 billion)
China - 5.5% ($0.9 billion)
Turkey - 3.3% ($0.6 billion)
Americas - 3.3% ($0.6 billion)
Africa - 0.8% ($0.1 billion)

 

Main characteristics
Modern Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to the underdeveloped economies of Europe. According to the IMF for 2015, Bosnia and Herzegovina was classified as a developing country. In the WEF Competitiveness Index 2015-2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked 111th, ahead of the poorest countries in Africa and some other parts of the world. According to Forbes, as of December 2015, the country has a transitional economy that is heavily dependent on the export of metals, textiles, furniture, electricity, as well as foreign aid and remittances; a segmented market and bureaucracy discourage foreign investment; public debt is 45% of GDP, unemployment - 43.9%, inflation - -0.9%. PPP per capita GDP for 2014 was US$9,833 according to the IMF or US$9,891 according to the World Bank (104th and 102nd among countries in the world, respectively).

Imports in 2014 amounted to 16.199 million convertible marks, exports - 8.684 million; foreign trade balance - -7.515 million. The main export commodities in 2013 were: electricity, components for vehicle seats, aluminum alloys, iron and non-alloy steel ingots, and women's shoes; the main imports are oil and oil products, medicines, coal and cars. Main foreign trade partners (2013) for export: Germany, Croatia, Italy, Serbia and Austria; by import: Croatia, Germany, Russia, Serbia and Italy.

The largest companies in 2014 in terms of revenue: Optima Grupa, headquartered in Banja Luka (production and marketing of oil and oil products, 100% Russian capital in the structure of Zarubezhneft), Holdina, headquartered in Sarajevo (sale of oil and oil products) , Elektroprivreda BiH (production, distribution and supply of electricity, with 90% participation of the state.

 

Financial system

The convertible mark, which is equal to 100 fen, is pegged to the euro (1:0.51129 euros). Introduced into circulation in 1998.

There are 27 private banks operating in the country (at the beginning of 2016), half of which have their head office in Sarajevo. Biggest banks in 2014: UniCredit's two subsidiaries headquartered in Mostar and Banja Luka, Raiffeisen Zentralbank's subsidiary bank headquartered in Sarajevo, NLB Razvojna banka and Nova banka headquartered in Banja Luka, Italian subsidiary Intesa Sanpaolo. Foreign banks also include the Austrian Hypo Group Alpe Adria and Erste Bank and the Russian Sberbank.

 

Industry

In the structure of industrial production in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014, mining accounted for about 5% of manufactured products (mainly for the extraction of coal, lignites and metal ores), for the manufacturing industry - about 74%, for the production and supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning - about 20%. At the same time, in the structure of the manufacturing industry, food production accounted for about 18% of manufactured products, metals - about 15%, coke and refined petroleum products - about 13%, as well as cars, trailers and semi-trailers - about 4%, paper and paper products - about 3%, machinery and equipment - about 2%, textiles - about 1%, tobacco products - less than 1%.

In 2004, the main centers of transport engineering were Sarajevo, Mostar and Tesani; small batches of Volkswagen cars were manufactured at the car assembly plant in Vogosce. The largest metallurgical enterprises were the Zenitsky steel plant, the Mostar aluminum plant and the Zvornik alumina plant. Iron ores were mined in the mines in the Vares and Lubiya region, lead and zinc near Srebrenica, manganese near Bosanska Krupa, bauxite near Srebrenica, Yayce, Vlasenitsa, Bosanska Krupa. The production of imported aluminum, steel, export alumina, zinc and lead concentrates was carried out. The enterprises of the timber industry and woodworking, the pulp and paper industry, and furniture factories were operating. The largest center of light industry (clothing, textile, footwear, leather) was Sarajevo.

 

Energy

As part of the fuel and energy balance of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2003, 37% accounted for coal and lignites, 25% for hydropower, 20% for natural gas and 18% for oil and oil products. Natural gas and oil are imported, mainly from Russia. Since 1979, through a pipeline from Zvornik, located on the border with Serbia, the country has been connected to the gas transmission system of Europe and Russia. The largest oil refinery, with a capacity of up to 5 million tons of crude oil per year, is located in Brod. Brown coal and lignites are mined in mines in the central and northeastern regions of the country.

 

Significant energy potential makes it possible to export electricity abroad. Thermal power plants operate mainly on locally produced coal and lignite. The largest thermal power plants include Tuzlanskaya, Kakanskaya, Gatskaya and Uglevitskaya. In 2014, 39% of electricity was generated by hydroelectric power plants, 15,030 million kWh was produced, while 5998 million kWh was exported and 3178 million kWh was imported. The largest hydroelectric power plants include Chaplinskaya on the Neretva River, Vyshegradskaya on the Drina, Dubrovnitskaya, Salakovatskaya, Jablanitskaya, Trebinskaya-I on the Trebishnica River, joint with Croatia.

 

Agriculture

Agricultural land occupies more than two million hectares (over 40% of the country's area), most of which is occupied by arable land and vegetable gardens, to a lesser extent gardens and vineyards, as well as meadows and pastures. Vegetables and potatoes are grown throughout the country. Arable land is located mainly in river valleys, primarily in the north of the country, in the Sava river valley. Fruit orchards are found in large numbers in the hills south of the Sava. In the southwestern part of Herzegovina, grapes and tobacco are grown, as well as gourds, peaches, apricots, olives, tangerines, cherries, and figs. The center of winemaking is the region of Mostar.

Arable land in 2014 occupied 1.011 million hectares, of which 501 thousand hectares were sown areas (including 300 thousand hectares of the Republic of Srpska, 185 thousand hectares of the Federation of BiH and 13 thousand hectares of the Brcko district). Main agricultural crops: fruits (apples, plums, pears, cherries, peaches and others), cereals, industrial crops (rapeseed, soybeans, tobacco), vegetables (cabbage, tomatoes, onions, red peppers, carrots, cucumbers and others), potatoes . 62% of the harvested cereals were corn and 22% wheat. 71% of the harvested grain fell on the Republika Srpska and 25% on the Federation of BiH. The basis of animal husbandry is poultry farming and breeding of sheep, pigs and cows. The breeding of poultry and cattle is carried out mainly in the river valleys, and pigs are also bred in non-Muslim areas. Sheep breeding is common in the central regions of the country

 

Mass media

The printed publications of Bosnia and Herzegovina are wholly in private hands. As of January 2016, 10 daily newspapers were published in the country, the leading ones being Oslobodzhene and Dnevni Avaz with editorial offices in Sarajevo, Nezavisne Novina and Glas Srpske with editorial offices in Banja Luka, Dnevni list with editorial offices in Mostar, "Evening News" with an editorial office in Belgrade and others; 59 magazines in the Federation of BiH, including the Sarajevo editions "Slobodna Bosna" and BH Dani, and 48 in Republika Srpska; 8 news agencies, including the SRNA with an editorial office in Bijeljina.

According to 2009 data, over 45 television stations of various levels were broadcasting in the country. As part of Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina, three television channels were broadcasting: BHT 1 of the national level, Federal Television in the Federation of BiH and Television of the Republika Srpska. Sarajevo is home to the central studio of the Qatari television channel Al Jazeera, which broadcasts in the countries of the former Yugoslavia in Serbo-Croatian.

Over 140 radio stations broadcast in the country. As part of the state television and radio broadcasting service Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina, radio stations broadcast BH Radio 1 of the national level, Radio FBiH and Radio 202 as part of RTFBiH, Radio Republika Srpska as part of RTRS.

 

Education and science

Main article: Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The education system consists of institutions designed for children from 3 to 7 years old; compulsory schools for children from 7 to 11 years old at the first stage of education and for children from 11 to 15 years old at the second stage; general secondary schools or gymnasiums for students aged 15 to 19; special secondary schools (technical, pedagogical, musical and others), vocational schools and universities. The Academy of Sciences and Arts has been operating since 1966. The main scientific institutions are located in Sarajevo, among them: the Bosnian Institute (founded in 1997 as a center for the study of the culture and history of Bosniaks), institutes of linguistics, thermal and nuclear technology, meteorology; as well as societies - geographical, physical and astronomical, mathematical, medical, pedagogical and others. Among the libraries: the National and University Library (founded in 1945), Gazi Khasrevbegova (1537), the library of the National Museum.

State institutions of higher education include universities - Sarajevo (founded in 1949), Tuzla (1976), Mostar (1977), Bihac, Zenitsa and Cemal Bedic University located in the BiH Federation; Banja Luka (1975), Istochno-Sarajevo University, Prijedorskaya Higher Medical School, Trebinskaya Higher School of Hotel Business and Tourism, located in the Republika Srpska.

 

Culture

Architecture and fine arts
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the remains of the Illyrian fortification Daorson have been preserved; the Roman settlements of Mogorjelo, Domavium (near Srebrenica); castles and residential towers, called "kuly"; basil (in Brez, Zenica); medieval churches. Before the Turkish conquest, people lived in adobe, stone or wooden houses with a cage and a hipped roof. During the period of Turkish rule, bridges, caravanserais, baths, mosques, and madrasahs were built in the cities. During the reign of Austria-Hungary, cities were built in the spirit of eclecticism. The era of functionalism began in the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1960s, public buildings become expressive (Razvitak department store in Mostar).

The oldest objects of fine art found in Bosnia and Herzegovina date back to the Neolithic era. The medieval art of the country was influenced by its neighbors. Relief images are preserved on stacks. Among the monuments of monumental painting of that time are the frescoes of the Dobrunsky monastery of the XIV century, miniatures - the manuscripts of the Bosnian Church. In icon painting until the middle of the 19th century, the Byzantine style dominated. During the period of Turkish rule, the weaving of ornamental kilim carpets and metal processing were developed. Bosnian painters at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries worked mainly in Serbia. The local school of painters developed in the 1920s and 1930s (I. Sheremet, V. Dimitrievich, Sh. Botsarich). In the second half of the 20th century, art developed in the spirit of the avant-garde.

 

Music

The court musicians of medieval Bosnia are first mentioned in 1408. During the period of Turkish rule, folk music developed under the influence of oriental music. Under the rule of Austria-Hungary, the musical culture of Europe developed. From 1886 to 1918, the Men's Singing Union operated in Sarajevo, which performed works of German, Austrian, as well as Czech, Slovenian and Croatian music. At the beginning of the 20th century, the musical folklore of Bosnia and Herzegovina was studied by the Czech scholar L. Kuba. With the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918, an orchestra was created at the National Theater, in 1923 the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra appeared. Among the composers of that time: A. Pordes and V. Milosevic. In 1946, the Sarajevo Opera House was founded, in 1948 the Symphony Orchestra, in 1962 the Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, and in 1955 the Academy of Music. Folklore prevailed in the works of composers of that time, D. Shkerl created his works in the spirit of neoclassicism, and V. Komadin in the spirit of avant-garde. Among the Muslims of Bosnia, love songs are common - the so-called sevdalinkas. From the 1950s to the present, songs with folk motifs were performed by S. Armenulić, and continue to be performed by H. Balšić, H. Dzhinovich, H. Paldum.

 

Theater and cinema

Theatrical art in Bosnia and Herzegovina appeared in the 19th century. Sarajevo National Theater was founded in 1919, Banja Luka - in 1930, Mostar - in 1949, Tuzla - in 1949, Zenitsky Theater - in 1950. Sarajevo also has the Chamber Theater 55 and the Children's Theatre.

The earliest surviving filming of Bosnia is considered to be Journey through Bosnia in 1912. In 1951, the first feature films were shot: the short film "On the Border" and the full-length "Major Ghost". Subsequently, films were often shot according to scripts by Yugoslav writers - M. Selimovich, M. Kovac, B. Chopic and others. Most of the films were shot by the film studio "Bosna-Film", often in collaboration with other film studios in Yugoslavia and abroad. The Sutjeska Film Studio, founded in the 1960s, produced short films and documentaries. In 1981, the Academy of Performing Arts was opened in Sarajevo. During the existence of Yugoslavia, films such as The Battle of the Neretva in 1969, Do You Remember Dolly Bell were filmed in Bosnia and Herzegovina? directed by E. Kusturica in 1981. Since 1995, the Sarajevo International Film Festival has been held in Sarajevo. In 1996, the first feature film was filmed after the end of the Bosnian War, Perfect Circle. At the beginning of the 21st century, the films "No Man's Land" (2001), "Days and Hours" (2004) and others were made.

 

Literature

The literature of medieval Bosnia, which originated at the end of the 12th century, was characterized by poor development due to the predominance of the heretical Bosnian Church in the country and the small number of monasteries as centers of writing (Catholic and Orthodox churches). The most ancient monuments of the XIV-XV centuries include the Divoshev Gospel, the Khvalov collection and others. Epitaphs on stems also belong to literary monuments. In the Serbian monasteries of the XV-XVII centuries, historical literature was created. In the 16th century, Muslim literature in Turkish, Arabic, Persian and Bosnian (in Arabic writing) was developed. Among the monuments of that time are the instructive and religious poems of Khevai Uskufi and Hasani Kaimi. In the XVII-XVIII centuries, Franciscan Croat monks created literature of a religious and historical nature, including Matija Divkovic, Stepan Margitich and others. In the 19th century, Bosnian literature was influenced by Illyrianism: among the writers of that era were the Franciscan Jovan Jukic and the Serb S. Milutinovic-Sarailia. The Muslim poet Musa Chatich adhered to the religious direction.

At the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, the work of the Serbian poets J. Duchic, A. Shantich and the Serbian writer P. Kochich fell. Literature of the 20th century developed mainly within the framework of realism. Writers H. Kikich and N. Simic spoke with social criticism. The 1950s and 1960s saw the work of the Serbian writers B. Čopić and I. Andrić, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1961. The 1970s saw the work of the founders of the new literature of the Bosnian Muslims - M. Selimovich, who was also a Serbian writer, and S. Kulenovich. Poets M. Dizdar and I. Sarajlich, writer C. Siyarich belonged to different national traditions.

 

Sport

In 1984, the Winter Olympic Games were held in Sarajevo and its environs. Since 1960, chess "Bosna Tournaments" have been held in Sarajevo. In 1992, the Olympic Committee of Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded for the country's participation in the Olympic Games. In the Federation of BiH in 2010 there were 37 sports associations and 1221 clubs, in the Republika Srpska - 35 and 603 respectively, in the Brcko district - 3 and 75 respectively.

The largest football stadiums: Asim Ferhatovich-Hase (with a capacity of over 35,000 spectators) and Grbavitsa (over 16,000 spectators) in Sarajevo, Pod White Bregom (for 20,000 spectators) in Mostar, Bilino Pole (over 15 thousand spectators) in Zenica. Among the country's football clubs: Železničar in Sarajevo, Borac, Zrinjski in Mostar and others. Major Football League - Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Championship. The Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team takes part in the games of the European and World Championships. National teams in basketball - men's and women's, volleyball teams - men's and women's, rugby team, ice hockey team, chess team and others take part in international competitions in other sports.