Bosnia and Herzegovina

bosnia-and-herzegovina-flagOfficial languages: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian

Capital: Sarajevo

Area: total – 51 196 km² % of water – very low  %

Population: 3,900,000 – estimation in 2006; 4,377,033 – in 1991

Currency: Convertible mark (BAM)

Time zone: CET (UTC+1); summer CEST (UTC+2)

Internet domain: .ba

Call number: +387

Bosnia and Herzegovina (abbreviated: BiH) is a state in Southeast part of the Europe, located at the west part of the Balkan peninsula. Total area of the state is 51.129 km². It is surrounded by Croatia in the north, north-west and south (total length of border: 932 km), by Serbia in the east (total length of border: 312 km) and by Montenegro in the south-east (total length of border: 215 km). BiH has access to Adriatic sea (20 km of sea shore) at the very south part of its territory in the Neum municipality. Borders of BiH are mostly naturally made (rivers Drina, Sava, Una and mountain Dinara in the south-east part. Bosnia and Heryegovina consist of two geographical units: bigger Bosnian part in the north (around 40.000 km²) and smaller Herzegovinian part in the south.  Bosnia is mainly mountain land, the same goes to Herzegovina, but the features of the ground are different. The north part consists of mountains and hills which slowly transform into flat land in Posavina and farther in Panonian pool. Dinara mountain parts of BiH are located from the west to the east. Herzegovina consists of mountain (higher) and Adriatic (lower) Herzegovina which in Neum and peninsula Klek emerged at the Adriatic sea. There are several fields connected to river valleys (Una, Vrbas, Bosna, Drina) going from the south to the north, and speaking about the river Neretva, from the north to the south. Very interesting parts are, so called, limestone fields such as Livanjsko, Duvanjsko and Popovo fields which are located in the south-west, south and south-east parts of the country.

Presidency of BiH consists of three members from each of the constitutive nations. They rotate at the chairman position every 8 months. They are directly elected by people: Federation BiH elects Bosnian and Croatian members and Republic of Srpska elects Serbian member. The member with the highest number of votes usually becomes the first chairman. Their mandate lasts for 4 years. The chairman of the Ministry Council appoints the presidency, and it is approved by the parliament. The chairman appoints ministers. Parliament is the legislative body of BiH. It consists of two chambers: chamber of nation and chamber of representatives.

BiH has several levels of political structures after the state government. The most important division is organization of the country in entities (Republic of Srpska-49% and Federation BiH-51%of territory). Federation BiH consists of 10 cantons. All of them have own governments under the law of Federation. Some cantons have mixed population and they have special systems in order to preserve rights of all people.

The state consists of 137 municipalities, 74 of which are in Federation BiH and 63 in Republic of Srpska. Municipalities also have their governments and services, and they are mainly formed around the most important town in the area. Each canton consists of several municipalities. Apart from this, BiH has 7 official towns: Banja Luka, Bihać, Jajce, Mostar, Zenica, Sarajevo,East Sarajevo. Town Banja Luka and town Mostar are located in the municipalities with the same name, while Sarajevo and East Sarajevo consist of several municipalities. Towns also have their governments which authority is between municipality governments and canton governments (or entity government in RS) Town Tuzla is in process of becoming the eighth official town in BiH.

Although relatively small country, BiH has reach culture which influenced other Balkan countries and even the world. The culture is expressed in different areas of human action including music, literature, film, art and applied art and design and modern media. The capital Sarajevo was the host of the 14th Olympic games.