Dr Janez Drnovšek was sworn in as President of the Republic of Slovenia at the National Assembly on 22 December 2002, after he had presided for ten years over both the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the leading parliamentary party, the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia. As president of the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia, he succeeded in leading the party to victory at the parliamentary elections three times, in 1992, 1996, and 2000.
Dr Janez Drnovšek was born on 17 May 1950 in Celje. He graduated in economics at the University of Ljubljana's Faculty of Economics. In 1986, he finished his doctoral studies in economic science at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Maribor. In 1994, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Boston, and in 1999, an honorary doctorate from the Illinois Wesleyan University. In 2004 he also received the honorary functions of Protector and Honorary Senator of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts from Salzburg.
Until 1989, he held various positions in the economic sector and was involved in credit and monetary policy. After a successful career in banking, Dr Drnovšek was elected as the Slovene representative in the collective presidency of the former Yugoslavia at the first free and democratic elections in April 1989. From May 1989 to May 1990 he was the Head of the Presidency of the former Yugoslavia. In September 1989, he presided over the Summit of the Non-Aligned in Belgrade. During Slovenia's independence negotiations, Dr Drnovšek was the principal negotiator between the Slovene leadership and the leaders of the former Yugoslavia and the high command of the Yugoslav People's Army. In July 1991, he successfully negotiated the final withdrawal of the Yugoslav Federal Army from Slovenia. In recognition of his outstanding merit in defence of the freedom and sovereignty of the Republic of Slovenia, on 24 July 1992 Dr Drnovšek received the highest state decoration, the Golden Order of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia.
During his years of political activity, Dr Drnovšek has taken part in many international meetings, conferences and forums with participants from the highest levels. For his political, economic and humanitarian achievements and personal contribution to Slovenia's successful transition to democracy and its development into a democratically and economically stable country, as well as towards its inclusion into the European and international communities, Dr Drnovšek has received a number of international awards, such as Le prix de la Méditerranée (Crans Montana Forum, Malta, October 1995), the Public Leadership Award (Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, May 1997), the award of the Fund for American Studies (American Institute of Political and Economic Systems, Prague, August 1998), the Diálogo Europeo award (Madrid, November 1998), and the Ramón Trias Fargas award (Barcelona, November 2003).
Dr Drnovšek is a frequent guest of honour and lecturer at prestigious international establishments and universities all over the world. He is also the author of many articles in the fields of credit control and monetary policy, as well as on international financial relations, in which he has focused on the world loan crisis. In 1996, his book was published, Moja resnica (Escape from Hell), in which Dr Drnovšek described his experiences and views of the break-up of the then Yugoslavia. In recent years, Dr Janez Drnovšek has been publishing his analyses of and commentaries on topical international questions, in the most important world media. As President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Drnovšek has promoted a debate on the future of the Republic of Slovenia and has invited Slovene experts in various fields, academicians, scientists, economists, and various other representatives of Slovene society to participate in a wide public debate in order to highlight the topics that are of vital importance to the future of the Slovene state.
In 2006, Dr. Drnovšek launched an international initiative to start a humanitarian action "World for Darfur", for which the letter of support was signed by a number of prominent world personalities. He is also the initiator of the project "Fruits of Society" of which the purpose is to stimulate voluntary service activities and intergenerational cooperation. This year, Dr. Drnovšek also founded the Movement for Justice and Development. In May he wrote the book "Misli o življenju in zavedanju" (The Thoughts of Life and Awarness) which focuses on the man, his search for inner equilibrium, inner peace, and gaining awareness of his own self and the world. The translation of Thoughts of Life and
Awarness is already available to readers in Croatia. A short new book, "Zlate misli" (Golden Thoughts
), was published in October and offers readers thoughts adapted from the previous book and some new ones. In 2006 Dr Drnovšek wrote a new book The Essence of the World
which developed the ideas contained in his previous work Thoughts on Life and Consciousness
. The book was published first in German, followed by Slovene and Croatian.
In 2007 Dr Drnovšek has written the book Dialogues,
on the subject of spirituality, which addresses the fundamental questions of human existence, the meaning of life and the destiny of the human race. It is written in the form of dialogues between those seeking for wisdom and truth and wiser guides providing answers to their questions.
Dr Drnovšek is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and German.