Luxembourg Prime Minister Bettel withdraws diploma thesis


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“Copy and Paste Premier”: Bettel withdraws his diploma thesis. He is said to have committed plagiarism © Geert Vanden Wijngaert / dpa

The Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, has withdrawn the thesis he submitted 22 years ago following a plagiarism check by the University of Nancy (France).

Luxembourg – Bettel announced this in a statement on Tuesday. At the same time, he emphasized that the university had come to the conclusion that he could keep his diploma if he delivered “missing text references”. The 48-year-old studied public law and political science in Nancy. There was initially no explanation from the university.

According to Bettel, the university informed him that they had examined the work in the context of the citation method practiced more than 20 years ago. She acknowledged that it was a synthesis of documents, as was “usual and accepted” at the time. The university has also confirmed that it is an “original work”. However, he “did not provide individual passages with separate text references, so that they could be classified as “a kind of plagiarism”.

“After careful consideration,” he asked the university to withdraw his diploma. “This is intended to dispel doubts about the merits of the DEA (diploma) and to avoid a loss of confidence in the academic work,” Bettel wrote. “I regret this situation and ask the university to accept my apologies and my decision.”

In October 2021, the online magazine Reporter.lu accused Bettel of having used foreign texts on 54 of 56 pages (96 percent) without citing the source in his work on possible reforms of the electoral system for the European Parliament. The “copy-and-paste premier” “copied pages and pages from other publications without indicating this in any way with comments or footnotes”. Only on two pages there are no plagiarized text passages. Bettel then conceded that “it should have been done differently, maybe had to be done differently”. (dpa)


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