Bosnia and Herzegovina (i/ˈbɒzniə ən hɛrtsəɡoʊˈviːnə/; Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian: Bosna i Hercegovina, Cyrillic script: Босна и Херцеговина), sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Sarajevo.
Bosnia-Hercegovina is recovering from a devastating three-year war which accompanied the break-up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.
The 1992-1995 conflict centred on whether Bosnia should stay in the Yugoslav Federation, or whether it should become independent.
Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the Partnership for Peace in December 2006. Democratic, institutional and defence reforms are a key focus of cooperation. The country has been engaged in an Intensified Dialogue with NATO on its membership aspirations and related reforms since April 2008.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economic freedom score is 57.3, making its economy the 104th freest in the 2012 Index. Its overall score is 0.2 point worse than last year, with a significant decline in business freedom. Bosnia and Herzegovina is ranked 38th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score remains well below the regional average.
The foundations of economic freedom are fragile and uneven across the country. Poor protection of property rights and widespread corruption discourage entrepreneurial activity. The rule of law is weak, and local courts are subject to substantial political interference and lack the resources to prosecute complex crimes effectively.
The development of relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United States has been constructive and stable. The United States recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina on April 8, 1992. Diplomatic relations have been established on June 18,1993. The Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in DC Washington has been opened soon after that.
The 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended with the crucial participation of the United States in brokering the 1995 Dayton Accords. After leading the diplomatic and military effort to secure the Dayton Agreement, the United States has continued to lead the effort to ensure its implementation. U.S. troops participated in the Bosnia Peacekeeping force and the United States has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to assist with reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, economic development and military reconstruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Government: Federal Democratic Republic consisting of a State Level Government/Parliament and two Entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, which each have their own constitution, Government/Parliament and extensive legislative powers.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is an upper middle income country, with its currency, the Bosnian Convertible Mark, pegged to the Euro. Post-conflict economic growth was initially generated by reconstruction efforts, but is becoming more driven by private sector investment. Fiscal policies, supported by the IMF within the 2009-2012 Stand-By Arrangement, remain relatively tight.
It is now an independent state, but under international administration. Its three main ethnic groups are Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), Croats and Serbs. The war left Bosnia's infrastructure and economy in tatters. Around two million people - about half the population - were displaced.
Formerly key provinces of the old Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence in the 1990s after the Yugoslav Wars forming their own federation. The country is bordered by Croatia (932km) to the west and north, and by Serbia (357km) to the east and Montenegro (249km) to the south east. The country would be completely landlocked, but for the 26km of coastline on the Adriatic sea.
2008 saw significant progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s movement towards EU membership. Visa facilitation and readmission agreements entered into force on 1 January, facilitating visits to the EU by citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A European partnership was adopted in February, identifying new and remaining priorities for action.