Janez Potočnik

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Janez Potočnik
Janez Potočnik, Strasbourg - Diliff.jpg
European Commissioner for the Environment
In office
9 February 2010 – 1 November 2014
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Stavros Dimas
Succeeded by Karmenu Vella (Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries)
European Commissioner for Science and Research
In office
22 November 2004 – 9 February 2010
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Louis Michel (Research)
Succeeded by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (Research, Innovation and Science)
European Commissioner for Enlargement
In office
1 May 2004 – 21 November 2004
Served with Günter Verheugen
President Romano Prodi
Preceded by Günter Verheugen
Succeeded by Olli Rehn
Personal details
Born (1958-03-22) 22 March 1958 (age 59)
Kropa, Yugoslavia (now Slovenia)
Political party Liberal Democracy
Alma mater University of Ljubljana

Janez Potočnik (pronounced [ˈjaːnɛs pɔˈtɔtʃnik]; born 22 March 1958) is a Slovenian politician, he served as European Commissioner for Environment until 1 November 2014. He was formerly Slovenia's Minister for European Affairs.


Janez Potočnik was born on 22 March 1958 in Kropa, SR Slovenia. His father Stojan was innkeeper and his mother Lojzka was a school teacher. He has one sibling, a brother seven years older named Lojz. After finishing elementary school in Lipnica, Potočnik attended high school in Kranj, where he was also active in sports, notably in basketball and track and field. After high school he moved to Ljubljana, where he received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Ljubljana in 1982.[1]

Potočnik served as assistant director (1984–1987) and director (1993–2001) at the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in Ljubljana. In 1993, he received his PhD in economics from the University of Ljubljana. Between 1988 and 1993, he was a senior researcher at the Institute for Economic Research in Ljubljana.

On 27 November 2009 he was nominated to serve as European Commissioner for the Environment in the next Barroso commission, subject to approval by the European Parliament.

He was Minister Councillor at the Slovenian Prime Minister's Cabinet from 2001 to 2002 and Minister for European Affairs from 2002 to 2004. He headed the negotiating team for the Accession of Slovenia to the EU between 1998 and 2004. In 2004 he became European Commissioner, since November responsible for science and research.

While commissioner, Potočnik stated that he believes trading knowledge and the development of an information society to create prosperity is as important to Europe as trading steel and coal to create peace was 50 years ago. He aims to develop the European Research Area.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matos, Urša (7 March 2004). "Janez Potočnik". mladina.si. Mladina. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  2. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Position established
Slovenian European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Violeta Bulc
Preceded by
Günter Verheugen
European Commissioner for Enlargement
Served alongside: Günter Verheugen
Succeeded by
Olli Rehn
Preceded by
Louis Michel
as European Commissioner for Research
European Commissioner for Science and Research
Succeeded by
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
as European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science
Preceded by
Stavros Dimas
European Commissioner for the Environment
Succeeded by
Karmenu Vella
as European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries