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.