Halls in the European Parliament are named after renowned political and historical personalities. For example, a press room in Strasbourg was recently named after the murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
‘With this decision, which is a special honour for Slovenia, the EU and European Parliament put Jože Pučnik alongside some the greatest Europeans, like Konrad Adenauer, Winston Churchill, Paul-Henri Spaak, Robert Schuman and others. Their names mark the individual parts of the temple of European democracy,’ said the member of the European Parliament coming from the ranks of the SDS Party, Milan Zver, in a video posted on Twitter.
Jože Pučnik graduated in philosophy at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. In the time of Yugoslavia he was arrested many times due to his critical thoughts; he even spent a few years in prison. When he was released from prison in 1966, Pučnik decided to immigrate to Germany, where he first worked as manual worker. He later earned a PhD degree and became a university lecturer. He returned to Slovenia in 1989 to become a key figure in the political events of that time. He won the elections in 1990 as the leader of the opposition Demos and became the driving force in preparing the independence referendum. Pučnik was defeated by Milan Kučan in the presidential elections, but remained vice-president in the government of Janez Drnovšek after the downfall of Demos. In 1993, he handed over the leadership of the SDS Party to Janez Janša and took over the leading of the Commission for the investigation of post-WWII mass killings. He withdrew from politics in 1996.