Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the six countries which the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently focussing on in its development cooperation programmes. Due to its linguistic and cultural proximity to the Balkan state, Czechia has been developing close partnerships there since the 1990s and has also been supporting it in its preparations for EU accession.
The partnership between the Czech Republic and Bosnia and Herzegovina began during the war of 1992–1995, which erupted as a result of the collapse and breakup of the socialist multi-ethnic state of Yugoslavia. At that time, Prague provided humanitarian aid to the region of south-eastern Europe, says Štěpán Šantrůček, the Czech Consul in Sarajevo: “At first it was just individual charitable activities during the war. In fact, the delivery of humanitarian aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the first activities carried out by the humanitarian organization People in Need, at that time outside the official framework of foreign development cooperation. Then, in the second half of the 1990s, immediately after the end of the war in 1995 and onwards throughout the early 2000s, Bosnia and Herzegovina was included as one of the priorities for foreign development cooperation.”
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Authors: Anna Fodor, Daniela Honigmann