Political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina were created by the Dayton Agreement, which recognized a second tier of government in Bosnia and Herzegovina, comprising two entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), with mostly Bosniaks and Croats, and the Republika Srpska (RS) with mostly Serbs – each governing roughly one half of the state's territory. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina itself has a federal structure and consists of 10 autonomous cantons.
The Federation and the RS governments are charged with overseeing internal functions. Each has its own government, flag and coat of arms, president, parliament (FBiH) and assembly (RS), police force & customs, and postal system. The police sectors are overseen by the state-level ministry of safety affairs. Since 2005, Bosnia and Herzegovina has one Armed forces.
Inter-entity borders are not determined on natural geographical features of the region. Its borders were postulated as part of the political agreement that was based on ethnic division and are used to determine the extents of political jurisdictions within entities. On the ground, there is no active border between RS and FBiH, and one would generally not know the difference when crossing from one entity into another.
The city of Brčko in northeastern Bosnia is a seat of the Brčko district, a self-governing administrative unit; it is part of both the Federation and Republika Srpska. The district remains under international supervision.
Amendments to the divisions
Some interest groups have come forth with proposals for rearranging the subdivisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying the Dayton Agreement's framework is outdated. The Agreement was initially designed to effectively end the war in the nation. Some feel the divisions have made the present day bureaucracy of the country unwieldy.
Some Serb political organizations assume that if Kosovo achieves independence, Republika Srpska will separate from Bosnia and Herzegovina, eventually joining Serbia. However, the Office of the High Representative has come out and specifically denied the prospect of any such territorial exchange. Representatives of the Bosnian Croats largely view the current situation as discriminatory, and seek either the abolition of entities and foundation of a decentralized governmental structure, or a third entity (such as the war-time Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna).
- A precarious peace, The Economist, 22 January 1998
- The EU´s pseudosuccess in Bosnia, Centre for Eastern Studies 2011
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: Ongoing erosion of the State, Centre for Eastern Studies 2011