EU Appoints Austrian Dr. Johann Sattler as New Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: August 9, 2019; 11:05 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Council of the European Union appointed Johann Sattler as EU Special Representative (EUSR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He will also take over the role of the Head of the European Union's Delegation in Sarajevo.

Austrian Ambassador Dr. Johann Sattler appointed EUSR in Bosnia and Herzegovina. / Picture: © EU European Union / Council of the European Union

Mr. Sattler will replace Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, who was appointed in 2015.

Mr. Sattler will take up his duties on 1 September 2019 and has been appointed initially for two years.

His mandate is based on the following EU policy objectives in Bosnia and Herzegovina: 

  • Continuing progress in the stabilisation and association process
  • Ensuring a stable, viable, peaceful, multi-ethnic and united country that cooperates peacefully with its neighbours
  • Ensuring that the country is irreversibly on track towards EU membership, following the publication of the Commission opinion on its membership application on 29 May 2019

Throughout his previous experience, and currently as Austrian ambassador to Albania, Johann Sattler has had a particular focus on the Western Balkans.


Curriculum Vitae:
Date of Birth: 12 January 1969
1987 - 1994
Innsbruck University, Diploma/Master in Political Science and Slavic
1994 - 1996 Diplomatic Academy Vienna, Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced International Studies
2005 - 2008
Vienna University, PhD in Political Science
Career History:
1996 - 1997 Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vienna, Human Rights Department
1997 - 1998 ECMM (European Community Monitoring Mission), Sarajevo/Tirana, Political Officer
1999 - 2002 Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe/EU Special Representative for SEE, Brussels, Political Officer
2002 - 2006 Austrian Embassy, Washington D.C., First Councilor for Political Affairs
2006 - 2008 Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vienna, Deputy Head of the Office of the Secretary General
2008 – 2011 WAZ Media Group Russia, Moscow, Chief Executive Officer
2011 - 2012 Axel Springer Russia, Moscow, Publisher
2013 - 2016 Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vienna, Head of Western Balkans Unit (Directorate for Eastern/South Eastern Europe)
Since 2016 Austrian Ambassador to Albania
From Sept. 1, 2019 EU Special Representative (EUSR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
Head of the European Union's Delegation in Sarajevo
Languages: German (mother tongue), English (fluent), Russian (fluent), Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (proficient), French (proficient), Albanian (proficient)



About EU Special Representatives (EUSRs)

The European Union has Special Representatives in different countries and regions of the world.

The EU Special Representatives (EUSRs) promote the EU's policies and interests in troubled regions and countries and play an active role in efforts to consolidate peace, stability and the rule of law.

The EUSRs support the work of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR), in the regions concerned.

They play an important role in the development of a stronger and more effective EU Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and in the Union's efforts to become a more effective, more coherent and more capable actor on the world stage.

They provide the EU with an active political presence in key countries and regions, acting as a “voice” and “face” for the EU and its policies.

The first EU Special Representatives were appointed in 1996.

The EUSRs cover the following:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina,
  • Central Asia,
  • Horn of Africa,
  • Human Rights,
  • Kosovo,
  • Middle East Peace Process,
  • Sahel and South Caucasus and
  • the crisis in Georgia.

Source: EU European Union / Council of the European Union