West Herzegovina Canton

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West Herzegovina Canton
Županija Zapadnohercegovačka
Flag Coat of arms
Status Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Capital
and largest city
Široki Brijeg
Official languages Croatian and Bosnian
Ethnic groups (1991) 96.82% Croats
1.81% Muslims
1.37% others
Demonym West Herzegovinian
Government Parliamentary system
 -  Prime Minister Zdenko Ćosić
Legislature Assembly of West Herzegovina Canton
Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
 -  Establishment 12 June 1996 
Area
 -  Total 1,362 km2
525.8 sq mi
Population
 -  2013 census 97,893
 -  Density 71.87/km2
186.18/sq mi
GDP (nominal) 2013 estimate
 -  Total BAM 487.211 million
 -  Per capita BAM 4976.97
Currency BAM
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Date format dd-mm-yyyy
Drives on the right

The West Herzegovina Canton (Serbo-Croatian: Županija Zapadnohercegovačka) is one of the cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The West Herzegovina Canton is in the Herzegovina region in the southwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its seat of government is in Široki Brijeg, while other municipalities within the Canton are Grude, Ljubuški and Posušje. The West Herzegovina Canton is one of the most developed and richest cantons. It has 81,414 inhabitants, of whom an absolute majority are Croats.

History[edit]

Majority of the present-day West Herzegovina Canton was part of Zachlumia, the medieval South Slavic principality. In the 15th century it become part of the Duchy of Saint Sava under Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, who proclaimed himself the herzog (duke), thus giving the name for the whole region - Herzegovina.

The Ottomans conquered Herzegovina in 1483, when the territory of the West Herzegovina Canton become part of the Sanjak of Herzegovina. In 1833 the Sanjak of Herzegovina become more autonomous under Ali-paša Rizvanbegović, who became pasha of the Herzegovina Eyalet, however, after his death, Herzegovina once again become a sanjak.

In 1878 the whole territory was occupied and later in 1908 annexed by the Austria-Hungary, who held it until 1918. During that time, the territory of the West Herzegovina Canton was part of the District of Mostar in the Condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the collapse of the Austria-Hungary and after the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the territory of the West Herzegovina Canton remained part of the District of Mostar. However, with creation of banovinas in 1929, the territory become part of the Littoral Banovina, and in 1939 it was incorporated in the Banovina of Croatia, where it de iure remained until 1943.

During the World War II, the territory of the West Herzegovina Canton become part of the Independent State of Croatia, a fascist puppet state created in April 1941. Administratively, it was part of the County of Hum, having Mostar as its capital. The puppet state collapsed in May 1945.

The Yugoslav Partisans formed the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (later renamed to Socialist Republic), as a federal unit of Yugoslavia, of which the territory of the West Herzegovina Canton become part as well. However, in the process of the collapse of the communist regime, Croatian representatives formed the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia which encompased all Croat-majority municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the those of the West Herzegovina Canton.

During the course of the Bosnian War, the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia was later proclaimed a republic in 1993, however, in 1994 it become part of the Croat-Bosniak Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which led to formation of ten cantons in June 1996, when the West Herzegovina Canton was formed as well.

Geography[edit]

West Herzegovina Canton is located in the Herzegovina region of south west Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has Čvrsnica mountain to the north, Croatia to the west and south, and the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton to the east. The area of the Canton is 1,363 km²[1] (526 sq miles).

The canton has three rivers: Lištica, Trebižat and Ričina, and the Blidinje Lake. Its highest peak is Pločno on the Čvrsnica mountain, 2,228 metres.[1]

Politics and government[edit]

Assembly[edit]

The Assembly of the West Herzegovina Canton (Croatian: Skupština Županije Zapadnohercegovačke) is the legislature of the West Herzegovina Canton, serving as the unicameral representative body of the citizens of the West Herzegovina Canton. It has 23 representatives elected directly at the Bosnian general election. The representatives have a four-year term. The Assembly enacts the Constitution, laws and other regulations and elects the Government.

Government[edit]

Government seat in Široki Brijeg

The Government of the West Herzegovina Canton (Croatian: Vlada Županije Zapadnohercegovačke) is led by the Prime Minister who has one deputy and it consists of seven ministries. The ministries have different seats, with each municipality having two ministries, while the capital Široki Brijeg serves as the seat of the Prime Minister.

Position Portfolio Seat Officeholder Party
Prime Minister Široki Brijeg Zdenko Ćosić HDZ BiH
Deputy Prime Minister Finance Ljubuški Toni Kraljević HDZ BiH
Minister Internal Affairs Ljubuški Zdravko Boras HDZ BiH
Minister Justice and Administration Široki Brijeg Anita Markić HDZ BiH
Minister Economy Posušje Dario Sesar HDZ BiH
Minister Urban Development, Construction and Environment Posušje Miroslav Ramljak HDZ BiH
Minister Education, Science, Culture and Sports Široki Brijeg Ružica Mikulić HDZ BiH
Minister Healthcare, Labor and Social Welfare Grude Stjepan Bogut HDZ BiH
Minister Veterans Grude Mladen Begić HDZ BiH

Economy[edit]

According to the data of the Federal Institute for Development Programming, the West Herzegovina Canton had the nominal GDP of 487.211 million BAM, the 7th largest in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, before the Canton 10, the Bosnian Podrinje Canton Goražde and the Posavina Canton. It made 2.90% of the total GDP of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The West Herzegovina Canton has 5th largest GDP per capita, amounting to 5,973 BAM, while the average in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is 7,188 BAM.[2]

The Mepass mall in Široki Brijeg
GDP of the West Herzegovina Canton 2007–2013 (mil. KM)
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
398.322 437.314 442.805 446.177 462.491 474.716 487.211
Participation in total FBiH economy
2.90% 2.90% 2.92% 2.90% 2.90% 2.90% 2.90%

The West Herzegovina Canton is one of the cantons with the lowest unemployment rate, which is 39.3% high. Cantons with the lower unemployment are the Sarajevo Canton and the Bosnian Podrinje Canton.[3] All employed in the West Herzegovina Canton make 3.8% of employed, and 2.6% of all unemployed in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[4] The unemployment in the West Herzegovina Canton increased for 2.1% compared to 2012.

Unemployment in the West Herzegovina Canton 2007–2013 (mil. KM)
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
43.5% 39.9% 39.0% 36.1% 36.4% 37.2% 39.3%
Average in the FBiH
47.0% 44.0% 45.4% 45.4% 45.7% 46.8% 47.4%

This region, as well as the entire West Herzegovina, was before the war one of the poorest regions in BiH. Today it is one of the richest.[5] The entrepreneurial spirit is also present in the West Herzegovina Canton, which has enabled high employment. The majority of entrepreneurs are in the catering industry, but a significant number of entrepreneurs are involved in a successful production[clarification needed].[6]

Despite the canton's small area, its agricultural sector is important. In the canton, 30,000 ha (120 sq miles) is used for agriculture; 84,000 ha (320 sq miles) is forest. Around 6,000 ha of arable land is below 100 metres in altitude. The Canton has a strong potential for the production of vegetables, fruit and wine. The Canton has meat and milk processing plants.[6]

Infrastructure[edit]

The West Herzegovina Canton has a central location in Herzegovina, and as such has favorable traffic characteristics. The future route of the motorway of the E73 corridor, where's also the connection with the A1 motorway Dubrovnik-Zagreb, which means that the whole West Herzegovina Canton in encircled by the two EU corridors, the E73 and the E65. The crossroad of the two corridors is in the hinterland of the Ploče port, making the West Herzegovina Canton the "portal of the South East Europe".[7]

Demographics[edit]

Municipality Nationality
Total
Croats
%
Muslims
%
Serbs
%
Other
%
Ljubuški
26,127
92.19
1,592
5.62
65
0.23
556
1.96
28,340
Široki Brijeg
26,864
98.91
9
0.03
148
0.54
139
0.51
27,160
Posušje
16,963
99.00
6
0.04
9
0.05
156
0.91
17,134
Grude
16,210
99.10
4
0.02
9
0.06
135
0.35
16,358
Canton
86,164
96.82
1,611
1.81
231
0.26
986
1.11
88,992
1991 census

Official holidays[edit]

According to local laws[8] the official holidays (non-working days) in the county are :

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Općenito o Županiji" (in Croatian). Government of the West Herzegovina Canton. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  2. ^ FZZPR 2014, p. 5.
  3. ^ FZZPR 2014, p. 9.
  4. ^ FZZS 2015, p. 426.
  5. ^ Bakula: Nemamo izbora - smanjit ćemo plaće
  6. ^ a b "Poljoprivreda". Government of the West Herzegovina Canton. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  7. ^ REDAH 2010, p. 30.
  8. ^ http://uip-zzh.com/uip-zzh.com/files/zakoni/rad/9-04.pdf

Books[edit]

  • Group of authors (2010). Studija razvoja poslovnih zona u Zapadnohercegovačkoj županiji (in Croatian). Mostar: REDAH. 

Coordinates: 43°24′N 17°25′E / 43.400°N 17.417°E / 43.400; 17.417