Karl Erjavec

Karl Viktor Erjavec (born 21 June 1960) is a Slovenian lawyer and politician who served in the government of Slovenia as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2018. He was the president of the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia, having held the position from 2005 to January 2020 and again from December 2020 until March 2021. He was Minister of Defense from 2004 to 2008 and 2018 to 2020 and Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning from 2008 to 2010.

Karl Erjavec
Karl Viktor Erjavec (36247207934) (cropped).jpg
Deputy Prime Minister of Slovenia
In office
13 September 2018 – 13 March 2020
PresidentBorut Pahor
Prime MinisterMarjan Šarec
Preceded byHimself
Dejan Židan
Boris Koprivnikar
Succeeded byZdravko Počivalšek
Matej Tonin
Aleksandra Pivec
Minister of Defence
In office
13 September 2018 – 13 March 2020
Prime MinisterMarjan Šarec
Preceded byAndreja Katič
Succeeded byMatej Tonin
In office
9 November 2004 – 21 November 2008
Prime MinisterJanez Janša
Preceded byAnton Grizold
Succeeded byLjubica Jelušič
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
10 February 2012 – 14 September 2018
Prime MinisterJanez Janša
Alenka Bratušek
Miro Cerar
Preceded bySamuel Žbogar
Succeeded byMiro Cerar
Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning
In office
21 November 2008 – 12 February 2010
Appointed byBorut Pahor
Preceded byJanez Podobnik
Succeeded byRoko Žarnić
Personal details
Born (1960-06-21) 21 June 1960 (age 61)
Aiseau, Belgium
Political partyDeSUS (until 2021)
Alma materUniversity of Ljubljana

Early life and public servantEdit

Erjavec was born in Aiseau, Belgium, into a family of Slovene immigrants. He moved to Slovenia in 1972, then SFR Yugoslavia, when the family returned home. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ljubljana in 1985 under the supervision of the renowned legal expert Rajko Pirnat. He entered public service after democratisation in 1990, when the new democratic municipal authorities of the town of Kranj named him as head of the local administration. In 1993, he joined the Slovene Christian Democrats. Between 1995 and 2000, he worked as the secretary of the Slovenian ombudsman Ivo Bizjak, his party colleague. In 2000, when Bizjak was named as Minister of Justice in the centre-left government of Janez Drnovšek, Erjavec became the secretary at the ministry. During this period, he rose to prominence because of his decisive actions against corruption in the justice system.

In 2000, the Slovene Christian Democrats merged with the Slovenian People's Party, and Erjavec was a member of the latter until 2004. When the Slovene People's Party left Anton Rop's government prior to the 2004 parliamentary election, Erjavec quit the party and joined the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia, then the largest coalition government.

Political careerEdit

Just before the parliamentary election of 2004, Erjavec joined the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia. The same year, he was elected to the Slovenian National Assembly. When his party joined the centre right government coalition of Janez Janša, Erjavec became Minister of Defence. In 2005, he was elected president of the Democratic Party of Pensioners. After the parliamentary election of 2008, the party entered the left wing government coalition of Borut Pahor, and Erjavec was named Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning.

On 26 January 2010, Erjavec announced his resignation in the National Assembly, and on 27 January 2010, he officially resigned in a letter to the Prime Minister. That happened after several months of political pressures that centered primarily on the demand of the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia for the dismissal of Erjavec as he failed to secure an efficient waste management system.[1] His resignation became valid on 2 February 2010, after the Prime Minister informed the National Assembly about it.[2] On 12 February 2010, Erjavec was succeeded by Roko Žarnić.[3] In January 2011, Žarnić stated that his predecessor had too little time to settle the issue of waste.[4]

In December 2011, he was elected to the National Assembly as a deputy. In February 2012, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in the center-right coalition government of Janez Janša. He continued to serve in that position in the following Bratušek and Cerar governments until 2018. From September 2018 to March 2020 he served as Minister of Defence in the Šarec government. At the January 2020 DeSUS party congress he was defeated by Aleksandra Pivec after which he declared his retirement from politics, but he returned to party leadership in December 2020 after she was made to resign by the party. After his reappointment he announced that he had no interest in serving in Janša's 3rd government (which his party had joined under Pivec) and began the process of withdrawing DeSUS from the government coalition.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sporočilo za javnost o ukrepih zoper Ministrstvo za okolje in prostor" [The public statement about the actions against the Ministry for the Environment and Spatial Planning] (in Slovenian). Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia. 18 January 2010. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  2. ^ "MPs take note of Erjavec's resignation" (in Slovenian). STA. 2 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Roko Zarnic New Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning". STA. 12 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Žarnić: Erjavec je imel premalo časa, da bi uredil vprašanje odpadkov" [Žarnić: Erjavec Had Too Little Time to Settle the Issue of Waste] (in Slovenian). MMC RTV Slovenia. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by