Despite some moderate improvements in recent years, money laundering remains a major problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Rampant corruption; almost constant political crisis; blocked decision-making process; complicated administrative structure; weak rule of law; and widespread use of cash make BiH fertile ground for a variety of money laundering practices.
Being a microcosm of Balkan’s numerous troubles, Bosnia and Herzegovina is also litmus paper revealing the extent of this problem in the rest of the region. For many years, domestic media and Western diplomats paid more attention to this problem than local leaders or judiciary. As a result, local actions aimed at combating money laundering have so far merely scratched the tip of this iceberg.
Increased EU and US-supported efforts in recent years have helped increasing public awareness of the problem across the region. On the other hand, Balkan’s growing disillusionment with the Union and weakening of its EU perspective has resulted in slowing down, halting or even in some cases reversing of the reform agenda in Albania, BiH, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.