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  • RURAL DEVELOPMENT
  • GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY
  • ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
  • ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENT

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Bosnia and Herzegovina on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since 1995. At present, 97 GIZ staff and seven integrated experts are deployed in this country. 

In 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina emerged from three years of war with a highly complex state structure, consisting of two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS), and Brčko district, which has special autonomous status. As additional tiers of government, the Federation is subdivided into 10 cantons, and municipal structures exist throughout the country.

This complex system is an impediment to economic development and political reform. It creates challenging conditions for local and foreign investors, who are extremely reluctant to commit funds, making economic recovery a very slow process and leaving much of the country’s potential untapped.

In 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina applied to join the European Union (EU). In December 2016, as part of the assessment process, the European Commission presented a questionnaire, consisting of around 3,500 questions, for Bosnia and Herzegovina to answer as a key precondition for obtaining candidate status.

The Government’s stated objectives are to transform the economy from a centrally planned to a competition- and market-based system, increase domestic stability and achieve economic integration with the EU. GIZ is supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina’s efforts to increase economic and domestic stability and implement reforms. Priority areas are:

  • sustainable economic development and employment
  • energy sector development (energy efficiency and renewables)
  • reform of the public administration.

GIZ also facilitates regional cooperation among the six Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Since September 2010, the GIZ office in Sarajevo has managed the Open Regional Funds for South-East Europe, which support the accession process by promoting regional collaboration among the South-East European countries in the fields of foreign trade, biodiversity, energy efficiency, modernisation of municipal services, legal reform and EU integration.