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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

5. Participation

5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy

Last update: 22 February 2024

Young people as voters

  • The voting age limit for voting in the elections of the country's representative democracy institutions at all levels:

  • As stated in the BiH Election Law, Article 1.4: (1) Each citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the BiH citizen) who has attained eighteen (18) years of age shall have the right to vote and to be elected (hereinafter: right to vote) pursuant to this law. (2) To exercise his or her right to vote, a BiH citizen must be recorded in the Central Voters’ Register, pursuant to this law.

  • If there are imminent plans to lower the voting age limit, or if the age limit has been lowered recently (i.e. after 2000) please elaborate here. N/A

  • Any special provisions for young people in the electoral law and/or rules. N/A

  • The turnout of young people in the latest national/federal, regional, local and European Parliament elections and compare it to the overall population turnout:

According to the Institute for Youth Development KULT research on youth, youth voter turnout in BiH elections is the same as the turnout of the general population. According to data of the Central Election Committee, which were double-checked at the request of the Institute for Youth Development KULT, youth turnout is more than 50%, and is not significantly different from the European average. Based on the results of the 2013 census, there are 773,850 young people in BiH, and they comprise 21.4% of voters in BiH. According to the data of the Central Election Committee, over 50% of youth voted in the 2014 general elections, and a similar percentage was recorded during the 2016 local elections.

Young people as political representatives

  • Young people as members of political parties, including any top-level legislation on party youth wings where available:

BiH have a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which a single party often has not got a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments. Every ethnic community has its own dominant political party, and all major political party has a youth branch.

Young people as candidates in federal/national, regional, local and European elections for securing a position in a representative assembly or in an elected public office position (e.g. mayor, head of regional government, head of state):

The formal right of young people as political representatives in unicameral parliament includes candidacy age of 18. There is no quota of seats reserved for young people, or existing provisions aiming at facilitating young people standing as political candidates. There are no data available for the number of young people as candidates.

  • Young people as elected representatives (i.e. elected in a representative assembly):

According to the PRONI Center for Youth Development research on Woman, Youth and Minorities Representation in BiH Representative Bodies in 2018, at all levels of government, the situation is following: out of 615 representatives in all researched representative bodies in BiH, young people hold 27 seats.