At the same time, economic development has been strong since 2000 and the country’s reconstruction following the war is basically complete. The most important political target, which is also common to the entire population, is for Bosnia to become a member of the EU within a few years.
Unemployment is high, but hard to calculate due to the large informal sector. The population is partly dependent on money that is sent from Bosnians who stayed abroad after the war. However, the effects of the global economic crisis are expected to lead to a reduction in money coming in from abroad, while Bosnia’s economy is also weakening.
One of the major problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the complicated administrative structure. The public administration is very weak with many levels and there is great uncertainty regarding the division of responsibilities. The country is divided into two main entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosniaks/Muslims and Croats, governed from Sarajevo) and the Republic of Srpska (dominated by Bosnian Serbs, governed from Banja Luka), as well as Brčko District. The division is a result of the Dayton Agreement of 1995, which brought peace, but which also resulted in structural and constitutional problems with which the country is still struggling.
Sweden’s focus areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina are:
- Democracy, human rights and gender equality, with a focus on the justice sector and local administration.
- Market development, with a focus on economic growth through increased competitiveness and conditions for growth for small and medium sized enterprises.
- Sustainable infrastructure, with a focus on an improved municipal environmental infrastructure for water supply, sewage treatment and waste management.