Bosnia and Herzegovina has benefited from the co-operation programmes of the Council of Europe since 2003. The Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo ensures the necessary co-ordination between headquarters and national stakeholders, as well as with international partners present in the field.

The ongoing Action Plan (2022-2025), adopted in December 2021, further strengthened the strategic co-operation between the Council of Europe and Bosnia and Herzegovina, building on the  two preceding Action Plans (2015-2017 and 2018-2021). The Action Plan is tailored to the findings of the most recent Council of Europe monitoring reports and reflects the country’s European integration agenda, as well as reform priorities enshrined in national strategic documents. Co-operation activities implemented in the framework of the ongoing Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina are funded by the European Union, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Human Rights Trust Fund and Slovenia. Funded by voluntary contributions, the support continued for a coherent application of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) standards and implementation of the European Court of Human Rights’ case law at the national level, the strengthening of anti-trafficking action in Bosnia and Herzegovina, management of violent extremist prisoners, and enhancing the quality of local democracy and creating opportunities for citizens to engage in innovative participatory processes. Furthermore, Bosnia and Herzegovina benefits from the support of the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency through a project on enhancing institutional capacities on freedom of expression and information. Under the ongoing Action Plan, the co-operation with Bosnia and Herzegovina was reinforced to combat economic crime, money laundering and terrorist financing. The Council of Europe and the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina jointly identified new areas of co-operation such as ensuring the rights of vulnerable persons in the context of migration and asylum, the right to information, access to justice for women and the prevention of violence against women.

The co-operation with Bosnia and Herzegovina is further supported through the European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye, which assists the authorities with meeting their reform agendas and complying with European standards. The third phase of the programme, within which six actions are implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is currently under way. These actions contribute to strengthening the efficiency of justice, enhancing penitentiary reforms, addressing money laundering and terrorist financing, promoting quality education, inclusiveness and tolerance, and protecting freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

Bosnia and Herzegovina plays an active role in the regional actions of the Horizontal Facility in the following areas: enhancing regional co-operation in managing violent extremism in prisons, evaluation of judicial reform efforts under the Council of Europe flagship initiative based on the CEPEJ methodology “Dashboard – Western Balkans II”. Similarly, the following topics are also tackled from a regional perspective: economic crime, promotion of equality and combating racism, freedom of expression and freedom of the media, and women’s access to justice.

Bosnia and Herzegovina also benefits from three European Union/Council of Europe regional Joint Programmes implemented in South-East Europe. The capacity of the authorities to search, seize and confiscate cybercrime proceeds, prevent money laundering on the Internet and secure internet evidence is further reinforced through the second phase of the regional programme iPROCEEDS 2, while support in promoting good governance and Roma empowerment at a local level is streamlined through the second phase of the ROMACTED regional programme. In addition, the recently signed Joint Programme on Roma integration, which will begin in May 2023, further enlarged the scope of this intervention in the region. Lastly, the regional HELP in the Western Balkans funded by the Human Rights Trust Fund aims to enhance the capacities and skills of legal professionals for the effective application of European standards in human rights.

Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals


Through the actions, the Council of Europe Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2022-2025 contributed to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG 3 (target 8), SDG 4 (targets 1, 5 and 7), SDG 5 (targets 2 and c), SDG 8 (target 7), SDG 10 (targets 2 and 3), SDG 15 (target 7) and SDG 16 (targets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, a and b). 

More information: Overview of the Council of Europe Contribution to the UN 2030 Agenda.