H.E. Mr. Almir Šahović has been appointed as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He came to The Hague with over a decade’s worth of Ambassadorial experience, and he presented his credentials to His Majesty King Willem-Alexander on June 2nd, 2021.
Mr. Šahović started with a background in law as he acquired a Diploma of Law from the University of Sarajevo in 1991. Afterward, he was a partner of the Sahovic-Kulic Law Firm for a year while simultaneously being a part of the Presidency of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Protocol Bureau. This was until he decided to pursue a Master’s degree and acquired a Master of Arts in European Studies from Belgium’s College of Europe in 1993.
From this point onwards, his professional career mainly centered on European relations. Immediately after completing his graduate program, Mr. Šahović was the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Benelux countries, and of the Permanent Mission of Bosnia to the EU and NATO. He held this role until 1996, when he was assigned to be Head of the Unit for EU and International Organizations under the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MOFA) Division for Reconstruction, as well as the coordinator for the PHARE Multi-country Programs in the Office of the National PHARE Coordinator. Later that year, Mr. Šahović became an attaché at the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in France and the Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to UNESCO.
About a year later, he was promoted to Deputy Head of the Diplomatic Mission for both. This position was held for one year, until he became the Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg at the rung of Counsellor from 1998 to 2001.
Throughout the 2000s, Mr. Šahović had a brief period working abroad but was mainly active in his home country. From 2001 to 2002, he was the Minister-Counsellor, Head of the Unit for Reconstruction under MOFA, which coordinated international assistance for the reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During this time, he was also the Vice-Chair on behalf of Bosnia in the Working Group for the reconstruction and development of the Central European Initiative and was simultaneously the Vice-Chair of the Executive Board of Finland’s project for the support of inclusive education in Bosnia. Afterwards, he had another three-year term in Paris as Minister-Counsellor, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He then became Diplomatic Adviser under the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2005 to 2006.
This was followed by his role as Head of the Department for Economic Diplomacy under MOFA until 2008. Within these two years, he was also a member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Export Council. In late 2008, Mr. Šahović returned to France, but this time as Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to France and the Permanent Representative to UNESCO. In addition, he was the non-resident Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Algeria, Monaco, and Andorra. He held these roles for three years until 2011.
The rest of the 2010s saw Mr. Šahović assume the role of Ambassador again on multiple occasions. After his first term as Ambassador, he returned home to be the Head of the Department for international cooperation in the field of culture, education, sciences, and sports under MOFA for a brief period. He then became Ambassador and Head of the NATO, Peace and Security Department until 2012. During this time, he was also the spokesman of the First Sarajevo World Urbanism Forum, which was held in September 2012. This was followed by a three-year term as Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary and as Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Council of Europe.
While he was Ambassador, he was also the Honorary Vice-President of the Association for the organization of the Second Sarajevo World Urbanism Forum in 2014. For the rest of 2015, Mr. Šahović took up the role of Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe at the ambassadorial level. Soon afterward, he was assigned to be the Head of the Department for Strategic Planning under MOFA for one year. Subsequently, he was appointed as Ambassador, Assistant Minister for Multilateral Relations, and Political Director of MOFA in 2016. While he held this position, he was also the Coordinator of the Bosnia and Herzegovina MARRI Chairmanship in office, and the WBF Chairmanship in office in 2018. Similarly, he was also the Coordinator of the Bosnian SEECP Chairmanship in office in 2019.
Mr. Šahović held this role until 2021 when he became Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Netherlands.
Aside from his career as a diplomat, Mr. Šahović is also engaged in other fields and activities. This is evident from his Vice-Presidency in the ARS AEVI Association, which is the Initiative for the construction of the Sarajevo Contemporary Art Museum. Additionally, he was a member of the Strasbourg Film Festival Jury in 2015. Furthermore, he is currently a member of the College of Europe Alumni Association and the Monaco Ambassadors Club.
In addition to Bosnian and English, Mr. Šahović is fluent in French, which is unsurprising considering his previous terms in France, as well as some command of Italian.
The diplomat community in The Hague sends a warm welcome to Ambassador Šahović and wishes him all the best in his new term.