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Bosnia and Herzegovina Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

In February, four months after the elections were held, the Federation entity of Bosnia formed a parliament and passed the 2019 budget, thereby averting a crisis of non-payment of state salaries and pensions. However, Bosnia remains without a state government as a result of disagreements over the activation of NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP), a key step towards NATO membership. The activation of MAP is opposed by the Bosnian Serbs.Despite this positive development, the underlying factors driving Bosnia's recurrent political crises, including its broken election law, are likely to remain intact for the foreseeable future. Whereas the Bosnian Muslims favour a reversal of Bosnia's devolution of powers, the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs advocate more autonomy and outright secession, respectively. Growing ethnic tensions as a result of nationalist rhetoric, as well as poor socioeconomic conditions, raise the risk of civil unrest in the country. The potential for such unrest was seen in February 2014, when localised protests in Tuzla spread to Sarajevo and other important urban centres in the Federation entity, causing an estimated EUR25 million in property damage.Following preliminary GDP growth of 3.1% in 2018, Bosnia’s economy faces continued downside risks in 2019–20, amid uncertainty on both the domestic and external fronts. Industrial output growth has been weak or negative since mid-2018.Interruptions in Bosnia’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan agreement bring significant liquidity risks. In August 2018, the IMF suspended payment of the second tranche owing to new legislation granting benefits to war veterans. The loan will not be renewed until reforms are pushed forward.
Last update: May 16, 2019

Operational Outlook

Serious barriers to investment remain in Bosnia despite previous reforms. Although authorities have achieved significant success in reducing the amount of legislative overlap between the two autonomous entities that comprise Bosnia, there are still significant differences between the two. Bosnia depends on EU and IMF funds to reform its administration services. The country's inability to implement important reforms and agree on the allocation of the EU's IPA (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) funds risks the deprivation of such vital aid.

Last update: May 16, 2019

Terrorism

Elevated

The Bosnian war in 1992–95 brought an influx of foreign fighters and clerics adhering to Wahhabism. Their settlement in Bosnia gradually contributed to the proselytisation of this ideology among the local youth. On three separate occasions in 2010, 2011, and 2015, lone actors conducted attacks against security personnel and the US embassy. However, the overall capability of existing cells is very limited and unlikely to result in major attacks on Bosnian soil.

Last update: October 24, 2018

Crime

Organised crime groups operating in Bosnia typically engage in smuggling and trafficking of narcotics and cigarettes, as well as racketeering. Rival gangs often resolve disputes with violence, a phenomenon facilitated by the illegal proliferation of weapons, a legacy from the war in 1992–95. Violent gang disputes are a predominantly urban occurrence. Organised crime gangs rarely target foreign nationals; the bulk of crimes affecting expatriates is non-violent and typically involves petty theft and burglary.

Last update: May 15, 2019

War Risks

Resurgent nationalism and a constitutional crisis owing to an unreformed election law have increased the risk of military conflict in Bosnia. This situation is exacerbated by the militarisation of Bosnia's regional police authorities. The risk of war, however, is mitigated by the commercial interests of the political and business elites of each of the three constituent ethnic groups, which remain deeply intertwined.

Last update: May 15, 2019

Social Stability

High

War veterans have in recent months frequently protested to demand financial state support for unemployed former soldiers. Sarajevo and Tuzla have been particularly affected by such protests, typically involving roadblocks at key highways. The risk of similar economically driven protests by other groups, including farmers opposing the liberalisation of the agricultural sector, remains elevated.

Last update: May 15, 2019

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The climate is semi-continental in the north and Mediterranean in the south. Summer are very hot. Winters are long and harsh in the north of the country but milder in the south.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +387
Police: 122
Fire Dept.: 123
Ambulance: 124

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019