In Romania, the government weakened by a series of plagiarism cases

The Romanian government is rocked by a series of plagiarism cases. Several ministers accused of having copied part of their doctoral thesis find themselves weakened. Lucian Bode, in charge of the interior, defended in 2018 a thesis on Romania’s energy security at the University of Cluj (north-west of the country). Appointed minister in December 2020, he should have made his doctoral thesis public, but he refused access to the manuscript. The university did the same, on the grounds that the text had been published. However, there is no trace of this research work in the libraries and bookstores of Romania.

To defend itself, the University of Cluj argued in November 2022 that only 2.95% of the thesis in question had been plagiarized. “I welcome the result of this evaluation, Mr. Bode had immediately congratulated himself. My thesis is correct and I can keep my title of doctor. » But the independent media PressOne revealed shortly after that 65 of the 194 pages of the thesis had been copied. Embarrassed by this investigation, the university immediately decided to check the manuscript again. “Suspicions of plagiarism are confirmed and ethical slippages have deeply vitiated this thesis”concluded the university’s ethics committee.

Dissatisfied with this reversal of the situation, the minister brought a lawsuit against the establishment on January 5. He lost in the first instance on Tuesday, January 17. “The accusations against me are unjustified, they are politically motivated”defended Mr. Bode.

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The Prime Minister also concerned

He is not the only one on the Romanian political scene to experience this uncomfortable situation. In November 2021, the Minister for Research, Innovation and Digitization, the liberal Florin Roman, resigned from his post following an investigation by investigative journalist Emilia Sercan proving the plagiarism of his thesis. . On September 29, 2022, it was the turn of the Minister of National Education, Sorin Cimpeanu, also a liberal, to give up his apron, for the same reason.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca has not been spared these accusations. Appointed head of government in November 2021, this 55-year-old general was supposed to rule Romania with an iron fist. Nicknamed “the general of the desert”, he led the battalion of Red Scorpions, deployed alongside the American army during operation “Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003. The Romanian darling of the Pentagon was also remarked in 2003 during the battle of Nasiriyah, Iraq. A novice in politics, Mr. Ciuca had put forward these records of service to reassure Romanian public opinion, the army being one of the most respected institutions in the country. But Emilia Sercan, “plagiarism hunter” self-proclaimed, was interested in the thesis of doctor in military sciences of the head of the government. And his verdict – 42 plagiarized pages out of 138 – singularly tarnished the Prime Minister’s image as a soldier of integrity.

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