Janez Potočnik (pronounced ; born 22 March 1958) is a Slovenian politician, currently serving as European Commissioner for Environment. He was formerly the Slovenia's Minister for European Affairs.
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 served as Assistant Director (1984–1987) and Director (1993–2001) at the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in Ljubljana. In 1993, he got his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Ljubljana. Between 1988 and 1993, he was Senior Researcher at the Institute for Economic Research in Ljubljana. He was Minister Councillor at the Slovenian Prime Minister's Cabinet 2001–2002 and Minister for European Affairs 2002–2004. He headed the negotiating team for the Accession of Slovenia to the EU between 1998 and 2004. That year 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.