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Brčko is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Location within Bosnia and Herzegovina
Coordinates: 44°52′38″N 18°48′39″E / 44.87709°N 18.81096°E / 44.87709; 18.81096
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
DistrictBrčko District
 • MayorSiniša Milić (SNSD)
 • President of the District AssemblyEsed Kadrić (SDA)
 • International Supervisor
Michael Scanlan
 • City402 km2 (155 sq mi)
92 m (302 ft)
 (2013 census)[1]
 • City83,516
 • Density210/km2 (540/sq mi)
 • Urban
Area code(s)+387 049
WebsiteOfficial website

Brčko (Cyrillic: Брчко, pronounced [br̩̂tʃkoː]) is a city and the administrative seat of Brčko District, in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies on the banks of Sava river across from Croatia; as of 2013, it has a population of 83,516 inhabitants.

It is the only existent entirely self-governing free city in Europe.[2]


Its name is very likely linked to the Breuci (Greek Βρεῦκοι), a subtribe of Pannonian tribes of the Illyrians who migrated to the vicinity of today's Brčko from the territories of the Yamnaya culture in the 3rd millennium BC. Breuci greatly resisted the Romans but were conquered in 1st century BC and a lot of them were sold as slaves after their defeat, they started receiving Roman citizenship during Trajan's rule.

A number of Breuci migrated and settled in Dacia, where a town called Bereck or Brețcu, a river (Brețcu River) and a mountain Munții Brețcului in today's Romania were named after them.[3]


Brčko District and Brčko town

The city is located on the country's northern border, across the Sava River from Gunja in Croatia.

Brčko is the seat of the Brčko District, an independent unit of local self-government created on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina following an arbitration process; the local administration was formerly supervised by an international supervisory regime headed by Principal Deputy High Representative who is also ex officio the Brčko International Supervisor. This international supervision was frozen since 23 May 2012.[4]


NATO troops repair a damaged Brčko bridge in April 1999

Brčko was a geographic point of contention in 1996 when the U.S.-led Implementation Force (IFOR) built Camp McGovern on the outskirts of the city. Camp McGovern under the overwatch of 3-5 CAV 1/BDE/1AR Division (US) commanded by LTC Anthony Cucculo was constructed from a war torn farming cooperative structure in the Zone of Separation (ZOS) for the purpose of establishing peacekeeping operations; the mission was to separate the forming warring factions. The ZOS was one kilometer wide of no man's land, where special permission was required for Serbian or Bosnian forces to enter. Various checkpoints and observation points (OP's) were established to control the separation.

Although Brčko was a focal point for tension in the late 1990s, considerable progress in multi-ethnic integration in Brčko has since occurred including integration of secondary schooling. Reconstruction efforts and the Property Law Implementation Plan have improved the situation regarding property and return. Today, Brčko has returned to a strategic transshipment point along the Sava River; the population of Brčko has not returned to its pre-war ethnic mix of Bosniacs, Serbs, and Croats. Brčko sits at the east-west apex of Republika Srpska, the ethnic Serb portion of Bosnia & Herzegovina, and as such is critical to the RS for its economic future.

Brčko was one of the main points discussed in the Dayton Peace Accords. After several weeks of intensive negotiation, the issue of Brčko was to be decided by international arbitration. Brčko Arbitration ruled in May 1997 that Brčko would be a special district managed by an ambassadorial representative from the international community; the first Ambassador to Brčko was an American with support staff from the UK, Sweden, Denmark & France.

The first international organization to open office in Brčko at that time was the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) headed by Randolph Hampton.

Following PIC meeting on 23 May 2012, it was decided to suspend, not terminate, the mandate of Brčko International Supervisor. Brčko Arbitral Tribunal, together with the suspended Brčko Supervision, will still continue to exist.[4]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

According to 2013 census, the Brčko district had 83,516 inhabitants.

Ethnic groups[edit]

The ethnic composition of Brčko district:

Ethnic group Population
Bosniaks/Muslims 16,484 30,181 32,434 38,617 35,381
Serbs 17,897 17,709 16,707 18,128 28,884
Croats 21,994 24,925 23,975 22,252 17,252
Yugoslavs 5,904 1,086 8,342 5,731 -
Others 673 870 1,310 2,899 1,999
Total 62,952 74,771 82,768 87,627 83,516



A railway station is near the city centre on the line from Vinkovci to Tuzla. However, no passenger trains operate to Brčko anymore; the closest operating railway station is in Gunja, Croatia; just on the other side of the border.


Brčko has three football clubs (FK Jedinstvo Brčko, FK Lokomotiva Brčko and the youngest club FK Ilićka 01), they all play in the Second League of Republika Srpska.


Brčko has the largest port in Bosnia, on the Sava river, it is also home to an economics faculty and to a local theatre festival.


Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Brčko is twinned with:

Famous residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World Gazetteer: Bosnia and Herzegovina - largest cities (per geographical entity)". Archived from the original on 2006-03-16.
  2. ^ Welcome to Brčko, Europe’s only free city and a law unto itself.
  3. ^ Kiss Lajos: Földrajzi nevek etimológiai szótára Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 1978 ISBN 963 05 1490 7 103. oldal Bereck-szócikk
  4. ^ a b "Press Conference Following the Meeting of the Steering Board of the Peace implementation Council". 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  5. ^ a b "Popis 2013 u BiH – Brčko District". (in Bosnian). Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Koliko znamo o bratskim gradovima Brčkog? Prvi dio - Samsun". Portal Brčko. Retrieved June 26, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Koliko znamo o bratskim gradovima Brčkog? Drugi dio - St. Luis". Portal Brčko. Retrieved June 26, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Koliko znamo o bratskim gradovima Brčkog? Treći dio - Smederevska Palanka". Portal Brčko. Retrieved June 26, 2015.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°52′38″N 18°48′39″E / 44.87709°N 18.81096°E / 44.87709; 18.81096