The 27 Member States of the European Union fully and firmly support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective as a future member state of the European Union, consistent with the Thessaloniki Declaration of 2003. Along with international partners, it is the EU’s aim to support and embed a stable and viable Bosnia and Herzegovina co-operating peacefully with its neighbours and irreversibly on track towards EU membership. EU membership for Bosnia and Herzegovina is firmly tied to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the country.
The EU has set out its strategy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina in the European Council conclusions of March 2011 and the successive reinforcing conclusions. Since September 2011 we have installed a reinforced and comprehensive presence in the country combining the assets of the European Commission, the European External Action Service, through an EUSR office. The EU military force EUFOR ALTHEA remains present in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Our partners are threefold. Firstly, the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who are the main motivation for and beneficiaries of the country’s EU integration. Secondly, the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina at all levels. Thirdly, the civil society of the country including NGOs, the academic community, the business community, political parties and associations dealing specific interests.
The Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina was first established in July 1996, then as the Delegation of the European Commission.
Upon the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009, its name was changed to the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following a decision of the Council of the European Union in July 2011, the powers and authorities of both the EU Special Representative (EUSR) and the Head of the European Union Delegation Office have been vested in the same person. As a consequence, the Delegation and the Office of the EUSR together function as ‘one voice’ on the ground as of September 2011. In September 2019, Ambassador Johann Sattler took over the posts of Head of the EU Delegation and EUSR.
The Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of more than 130 Delegations that exist worldwide. Its role in Bosnia and Herzegovina is primarily aimed at:
- presenting, explaining and implementing EU policy;
- analysing and reporting on the policies and developments in the country; and
- conducting negotiations in line with its mandate.
It operates under the overall leadership of the High Representative of the Union for the Common Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission. It promotes the EU’s interests that are embodied in common policies relating to, among others, foreign and security issues, commerce, agriculture, fisheries, environment, transport, health and safety. It plays a key role in the implementation of the EU’s external financial assistance. This primarily relates to the funds allocated under the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA).
Office of the European Union Special Representative
The European Union Special Representative (EUSR) is mandated by the Council of the European Union to reinforce the EU’s political support for its policy objectives in BiH: ‘BIH’s progress in the Stabilisation and Association Process, with the aim of seeing a stable, viable, peaceful, multi-ethnic BiH, co-operating fully and peacefully with its neighbours in the region’.
The EUSR offers advice and facilitation support in the political process to institutions at all levels, aimed at ensuring greater consistency and coherence of all political, economic and European priorities – particularly in the areas of the rule of law and security sector reform.
The EUSR is responsible for the co-ordination of the EU’s public communication in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for contributing to the further development of respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms. The EUSR reports to the Council of the European Union, the inter-governmental body representing the 27 EU Member States, through the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission.
The Delegation of the European Union and EUSR in Bosnia and Herzegovina also have regional offices in Banja Luka, Brčko and Mostar.
To read the full EUSR mandate click here and here.
More information on Delegation of the European union in Bosnia and Herzegovina find on the following link