Bilateral relations Switzerland–Bosnia and Herzegovina

Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina maintain close political relations. Switzerland is committed to strengthening good governance, justice, the market economy and health services in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

To ensure lasting stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland is supporting the reform efforts of the country's authorities at all levels – public administration, government organisations, cantons and communes. Switzerland is committed to strengthening good governance, the judicial system, the market economy and health services in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also supports local efforts to deal with the legacy of the 1992–95 war.

Treaty database

Economic Cooperation and Development, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO

Economic cooperation

Switzerland is an important economic partner for Bosnia and Herzegovina in terms of trade and direct investment, although from the Swiss point of view the amount of trade and investment remains relatively modest. The large Bosnian diaspora community in Switzerland and the remittances its members send home are an important aspect of the economic relations between the two countries.

Trade promotion (Switzerland Global Enterprise)

Cooperation in education, research and innovation

Researchers and artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). Switzerland also implements two programmes to promote research in Bosnia and Herzegovina: 

  • Scientific Cooperation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland (SCOPES), and the
  • Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP). 

Both programmes promote collaboration between Swiss and Bosnian researchers.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists, SEFRI

Swiss National Science Foundation: Scientific Cooperation between Eastern Europa and Switzerland (SCOPES)

Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP) 

Peacebuilding and human security

Switzerland is committed to helping Bosnia and Herzegovina deal with the past and the legacy of the 1992–95 war and to bring the different ethnic groups closer together.

Up to 20 Swiss Armed Forces personnel participate in the EU peace enforcement operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR Althea) and up to six are part of mobile training teams ensuring the safe storage of ammunition and weapons stockpiles.

Swiss Armed Forces: EUFOR, LOT and MTT (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Development cooperation

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a priority country for Switzerland's cooperation programme in Eastern Europe, which aims to ensure political stability in the country and to implement much-needed structural economic and political reforms. To this end, Switzerland has contributed over CHF 500 million to projects, programmes and multilateral activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the last 20 years. Switzerland supports the Bosnian people's wish to join the EU.

The cooperation office in Sarajevo also implements projects of the State Secretariat for Migration as part of the bilateral migration partnership between Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

Cultural exchanges

The Swiss embassy together with Pro Helvetia has been very active in the cultural field in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the end of the war. Switzerland has provided support since 1996 for the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF), the most important in south-eastern Europe, and finances the awards for the best documentary and best film about human rights.

Swiss nationals in Bosnia and Herzegovina

According to the Statistics on the Swiss Abroad, 656 Swiss nationals were living in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of 2016.

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland has maintained diplomatic relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1992 and has a positive image in the country thanks in part to its acceptance of many refugees during the 1992–95 war and subsequent support for reconstruction.

Historical Dictionary of Switzerland: Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Swiss government, through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS), awards various postgraduate scholarships to foreign scholars and researchers.

Scholars from Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to apply for University scholarships for PhDs, postdoctoral research and a research in the realm of their PhD or their medical specialization.