Valentin Inzko

Valentin Inzko is an Austrian diplomat of Carinthian Slovene origin.

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Valentin Inzko (born 22 May 1949) is an Austrian diplomat of Carinthian Slovene origin. He is currently serving as the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, a role which he assumed on March 26, 2009.[1][2] He is at the same time the European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Inzko was born into a Slovene-speaking family in Klagenfurt, Carinthia. His father, Valentin Inzko Sr., was a renowned cultural and political activist of the local Slovene minority. Valentin Jr. attended a Slovene-German bilingual school in Suetschach (Slovene: Sveče) in the municipality of Feistritz im Rosental (Slovene: Bistrica v Rožu). After finishing the Slovene language high school in Klagenfurt in 1967, he enrolled in the University of Graz, where he studied law and Slavic philology. Between 1972 and 1974, he attended the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

In 1974, he entered the Austrian diplomatic service. Between 1982 and 1986, he worked as press attache at the Austrian embassy in Belgrade. After that, he worked at the Austrian mission to the United Nations. Between 1990 and 1996, he worked as the cultural attache at the Austrian embassy in the Czech Republic, and between 1996 and 1999, he was the Austrian ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Between October and December 1992, he was a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe mission to the Sandžak region in Serbia. In 2005, he was named as the Austrian ambassador to Slovenia. In March 2009, he became the seventh High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, replacing the Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajčák. Inzko thus became the second Carinthian Slovene to occupy that position, after Wolfgang Petritsch who served as the High Representative between 1999-2002. In June 2010 he was elected to be chairman of the National Council of Carinthian Slovenes.[3]

Besides Slovene and German, Inzko is fluent in Serbo-Croatian, Russian and Czech.[4] Among other works, he has translated the essays of Václav Havel Living in Truth and The Power of the Powerless into Slovene.[5]

He is married to Argentine Slovene opera singer Bernarda Fink Inzko.


High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

On June 9, Inzko used his powers for the first time and sacked two police officials. The two officials were Bosniak Himzo Đonko, a police commissioner in the Herzegovina-Neretva canton, blamed for threatening Bosnian international officials in a bid to obstruct an investigation in his abuse of power accusations, and Bosnian Serb Radislav Jovičić, an official in the Bosnian state agency for investigation and protection, alleged to have used his subordinates to illegally follow and observe Inzko's staff.[6]