Bosnia and Herzegovina
Last updated: April 2019
Estonia recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina on 1 June 1992 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 8 February 1993.
Bosnia and Herzegovina covers Estonia from its Embassy in Stockholm. Former Ambassador Vesna Ćužić presented her credentials to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on 8 December 2015. Currently, Bosnia and Herzegovina is represented by chargé d'affaires Željko Grbić.
Estonia's Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kristi Karelsohn, who resides in Budapest, presented her credentials to the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik on 18 January 2019. The first Ambassador of Estonia to Bosnia and Herzegovina was Arti Hilpus and in 2016-2018 the Ambassador of Estonia to Bosnia and Herzegovina was Daniel Erik Schaer who resided in Tallinn.
Important bilateral visits and meetings
|October 2017||Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dr Dragan Čović visited Estonia|
|March 2017||Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas visited Bosnia and Herzegovina|
Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Igor Crnadak visited Estonia
|Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand met with Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak during the UN General Assembly in New York|
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met with Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdžija during the Council of Europe meeting of foreign ministers in Vienna
|June 2010||Secretary General of Estonian Foreign Ministry Marten Kokk in Sarajevo for the high-level meeting of European Union and Western Balkan countries|
Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sven Alkalaj attended the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Tallinn
Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sven Alkalaj visited Estonia
|September 2008||Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met with Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj during the UN General Assembly in New York|
Working visit of Prime Minister of Estonia Andrus Ansip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the course of which the Prime Minister attended the closing ceremony of the EUFOR Camp Eagle Base
The XII Parliament of Estonia (in Estonian: Riigikogu) established an Estonia – Bosnia and Herzegovina parliamentary group which was chaired by Margus Hanson. During the XIII Riigikogu there was no established Estonia – Bosnia and Herzegovina parliamentary group. Estonia is part of the Central and Eastern Europe friendship group in the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The group is chaired by Staša Košarac.
The following agreement has been concluded between Estonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- Protocol on the implementation of the agreement on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation (came into force 6 December 2010).
Estonia's economic relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina are relatively modest. In 2018, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the 107th trade partner for Estonia while in 2017 Bosnia and Herzegovina was 101th trade partner.
The primary articles of export in 2018 were machinery and equipment (32%), wood and related products (31%), chemical products (10%) and plastics and products made from plastics (9%). The volume of imports to Estonia has remained smaller compared to exports. Imports consist mainly of miscellaneous manufactured articles and wood products.
There have been no significant direct investments from Estonia to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but there have been some investments from Bosnia and Herzegovina registered in Estonia in 2018 (9000 euros from which about half was invested in the communications sector).
According to Credit Information (in Estonian: Krediidiinfo) there were 10 Estonian companies exporting to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the year 2017 and according to the Commercial Register (in Estonian: Äriregister), there were two companies with shareholders from Bosnia and Herzegovina registered in Estonia as of May 2018.
Trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina 2012 – 2018 (thousands of euros)
All economic figures are from the Statistical Office of Estonia.
Estonia has supported the state-building of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the development of the country in many sectors. Support has been given within the framework of defence-related cooperation - soldiers from Bosnia and Herzegovina have studied at the Baltic Defence College and officials from the country's foreign ministry have become acquainted with the organization of Estonia's higher national defence courses.
Training courses and study visits have been organised for officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the areas of border patrol, e-government, taxes, auditing, statistics, environmental protection, and press freedom.
In May 2014, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided 87 000 euros of humanitarian aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina to deal with the aftermath of large-scale flooding in the region. The aid was used to fund the deployment of an Estonian rescue squad to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of BaltFloodCombat, a joint team from the three Baltic countries.
During the last couple of years Estonian experts have also had the opportunity to participate in Twinning and Taiex programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. From November 2013 to May 2015 Estonian experts from the e-Governance Academy and the Estonian Ministry of Interior implemented the Twinning programme component which aim was to increase the efficiency of the professional skills of primary and secondary users of IDDEEA (The Agency for Identification Documents, Registers and Data Exchange of Bosnia and Herzegovina) information system. From November 2006 to December 2008, the e-Governance Academy conducted the project Enhancing Western Balkan eGovernment Expertise (in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and North Macedonia) with the aim of enhancing e-government expertise in these countries.
In October 2015 and in May 2016 the Estonian Electronic Voting Committee introduced the Estonian e-Voting model to IDDEEA and other officials, by presenting the best practices and technical solutions, including legislation.
In April 2017 two journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in a study visit of the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School of Tallinn University which was financed from the Estonian development cooperation budget.
Participation in peacekeeping operations
Estonia participated in peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina already from the 1990s. From 1996 – 1999 Estonia participated with 40-member infantry platoons ESTPLA in the ranks of the Danish battalion in the framework of the international Implementation Force (IFOR). In the following years, Estonia participated in the international Stabilization Force (SFOR), but with a smaller number of peacekeepers.
Estonia participated in the EUFOR Althea operation in the years 2005-2011 whereas from 2005-2007 infantry platoons ESTGUARD participated in the ranks of the Czech-Austria-Estonia-Slovakia unit. In the summer of 2007 the EUFOR Camp Eagle Base near Tuzla was closed and as a result ESTGUARD also ended its activities. However, Estonia continued to participate in the EU military mission EUFOR Althea. The number of soldiers in the mission has decreased from year to year and at the end of 2011 Estonia ended its participation in the mission.
From 2003-2011, Estonia also participated in the EU Police Mission (EUPM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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