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President Pahor: "A good political leader forms public opinion rather than merely adjusting to it"

Bled, 1. 9. 2014 | press release

Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, participated today in the opening of the 9th Bled Strategic Forum and gave an address to the main panel entitled "Leadership Philosophy". The Bled Strategic Forum has developed into an important regional conference, attended by high-ranking politicians, economists and representatives of the scientific community. This year, participants came from more than 65 countries.

In his address to the main panel entitled "Leadership Philosophy", President Pahor presented his views on leadership. He said that a leader forms public opinion rather than merely adjusting to it, because the basis of political leadership lies in driving change rather than adjusting to current circumstances. At the same time, the President also emphasised that a good political leader does not underestimate the people's opinion, and especially the people themselves. A good leader is rather one who understands and respects them.

Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, participated today in the opening of the 9th Bled Strategic Forum and gave an address to the main panel entitled "Leadership Philosophy"
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

The President said that it is difficult to speak about political leadership in a value-neutral manner, since it does matter what a political leader stands up and fights for and what kind of changes he is striving for, i.e. changes for the better or for the worse. In the President's opinion, it is not always possible to prevent talented potential political leaders from being overpowered by anti-democratic aspirations and tendencies. We can, however, be more active in striving to inspire more young people, who demonstrate a talent for leadership, with deep humanistic and democratic action and will.

To this end, President Pahor committed himself to making more knowledge and possibilities available to young people who demonstrate talent for leadership, since our society must nurture political leaders who will be able to understand the need for change and to attain them for the benefit of the vast majority of people. "It is crucial to understand, however, that the prerequisites to political leadership are trust in oneself, a strong will, a critical view of the surrounding world, and innovativeness. But these are the properties of a critical individual, not an opportunist," added President Pahor.

He ended by concluding that we have to enable young people in particular to see things critically, and we must try to shape the most talented among them into political leaders in the hope that they will be inspired by the values of peace, security, democracy and human rights while performing their duties.

In the late afternoon, President Pahor will welcome the Prof Gamini Lakshman Peiris, the Minister of External Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and General Vijay Kumar Singh, India's Minister of State for External Affairs, at the 9th Bled Strategic Forum. President Pahor will also welcome Dr Jure Leskovec, who initiated the establishment of the American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) and is a member of its board of directors.

Tonight, Predrag Praštalo, the President of the European Movement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, will award a medal to Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, in the name of the European Movement in Bosnia and Herzegovina as the recognition of his significant contribution to Bosnia and Herzegovina's progress on the path to European Union membership.