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Brief history

BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA

Official name (including official language): Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina - BiH)

 

History
BiH declared independence from former Yugoslavia on 1st of March, 1992, following a referendum boycotted by Bosnian Serbs (they wanted to remain part of Yugoslavia). Independence was followed by unrest and military incidents that led in 6th of April to the outbreak of war. Serbs attacked different parts of BiH, envisaging BiH partition based on ethnic dividing lines. Croatia wanted to protect security interest in the territories inhabited by Croats. Bosnian Muslims were loyal to the Bosnian government. In March 1994, Bosnian Muslims and the Croats have signed an agreement that created the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus ending the Croat-Muslim conflict. The war ended in December 1995, by concluding the Dayton Peace Agreements, agreements that has established the current structure of BiH.

The most dramatic moment of war was the massacre in Srebrenica (July 11, 1995), where more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed by Bosnian Serb army. On 26th of February 2007, the International Court of Justice characterized the Srebrenica massacre as genocide and decided that Serbia is responsible for these tragic events. However, the verdict stated that Serbia has not taken measures to prevent genocide in Srebrenica against Bosnian Muslims nor to bring to justice those suspected of war crimes.

Features: The main institution of the International Community in BiH is the Office of the High Representative (OHR), created by the Dayton Agreement. OHR main duty is to supervise the implementation of civilian aspects of the Agreement. Since 1997, the OHR has special powers of intervention (Bonn Powers), which gives the High Representative (HR) the right to dismiss officials, to enforce laws, egg. if found to have violated the Dayton Agreements.
On 26th of March 2009, the Austrian Ambassador Valentin Inzko took over also the functions of the EU Special Representative (EUSR) and Head of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) of the International Community.

From 1st of September 2011, Peter Sorensen was appointed EUSR.

 

Relations with the EU

The EU signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with BiH on 16th of June 2008 (Agreement was initialed on December 4, 2007). Interim Agreement - part of the SAA - entered into force on July 1, 2008. Romania ratified the SAA on 8th of January 2010. The SAA has not been yet implemented.

On May 26, 2008, the European Commission launched a dialogue on visa liberalization with BiH. The European Commission proposed on 27th of May 2010 to the Council and European Parliament to aprouve thedecision to visa liberalization for BiH citizens (and Albania), subject to specific conditions. The visa liberalisation regime is in place from 15th of December 2010

In April 2011, at the initiative of the EU High Reprepresentative for Foreign Policy and Security, Catherine Ashton, a structured dialogue on justice was opened.

Relations with NATO:

At ministerial meeting in Tallinn (22 - 23 April 2010), BiH was invited to MAP, with a first Annual National Programme to be approved by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) after solving the problem of BiH defense properties.

Situation of stability and security: internal security and stability in BiH has been assured by NATO - military mission SFOR and UN police mission - IPTF, until December 2004. Subsequently, both missions were undertaken by the EU Monitoring Mission police - EUPM - respectively, the EUFOR peacekeeping mission - "Althea" (2000 troops). In all these formulas, Romania was/is present by a quota of military and police forces.
BiH is a member of UN, OSCE, CE, CEI, SEECP, RCC, SECI Center.

 

 

Capital and main cities: Sarajevo (capital), Banja Luka, Mostar, Tuzla.

Area and regional divisions: 51.129 km2. BiH is composed of two entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (about 51% of BiH territory  -  consists of 10 cantons), Republica Srpska (about 49% of BiH territory) and autonomous Brcko District, under the sovereignty of the central government.

Population (number and composition of ethnicity / religion): 3,922,205 inhabitants. Nationality: Bosnian (Muslim) (44%), Serbs (31%), Croats (17%), others (2.5%). Languages ​​spoken: Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian. Religions: Muslim (40%), Orthodox (31%), Roman Catholics (15%), Protestant (4%). Data is provided by the last census conducted in 1991.
National Day: November 25.

The internal political situation

Executive: BiH is managed centrally by a collective presidency composed of three members, each belonging to one of the three constituent peoples (Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs), elected for four years, the rotating presidency, on one period of 8 months. Currently, according to the last elections held in October 3, 2010, members of the Collective Presidency of BiH are: Bakir Izetbegovic (SDA, Bosniak member), Željko Komšić (SDP member Croatia) and Nebojsa Radmanovic (SNSD, Serb member). The current Presidency Chairman is Bakir Izetbegovic (from March 10, 2012).

Central Government: Council of Ministers. President of the Council is appointed by the Collective Presidency and has a term of four years. President of the Council of Ministers appoints the ministers and their deputies. Deputy ministers are not members of the same constituent people as their Ministers. On 10.02.2012, the BiH Parliament confirmed the new Council of Ministers (government).

The head of the BiHCouncil of Ministers is Vjekoslav Bevanda (HDZ BiH).

President of Republic of Srpska is Milorad Dodik (SNSD, chairman of the party).

Foreign Minister: Zlatko Lagumdžija (SDP leader).

Legislative: bicameral Parliament consisting of House of Peoples (upper) and House of Representatives. House of Peoples has 15 delegates, 10 from Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation (5 Croats and 5 Bosniaks) and 5 of the Republika Srpska (5 Serbs). House of Representatives has 42 members, of which two thirds are elected from within the Federation, and 1/3 of the Serb entity, directly, by vote of citizens who meet the requirements of the Electoral Law.

In October 2010 general elections were held. Relative strength of the BiH Parliament after the elections October 3, 2010:

-       House of Representatives (42 seats) Political parties in BiH Federation are: SDP (26%), SDA (19%), HDZ (11.5%), SBB (13.6%), SBiH (7.1%), HDZ 1990 (5%) and NSRzB (4.9%) and the Republika Srpska, SNSD (45.4%), SDS (22.4%), PDP (6.76%), DNS (4.6%).

The President of the Republica Srpska is the SNSD leader, Milorad Dodik .he won with 53.13%. National Assembly (Parliament) of Republic of Srpska is composed of representatives of SNSD (39.6%), SDS (19%), PDP (7.7%), DNS (6.4%), DP (3.6%)

The judiciary: the Constitutional Court has nine members: four members elected by the House of Representatives, two members elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the RS, and three non-Bosnian members are elected by the European Court of Human Rights.

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