Slovak parliamentary speaker refuses to step down despite sham degree

Parliamentary Speaker Andrej Danko copied almost all of the pages in his academic work from other sources, but he refuses to step down. He continues to use his title "Doctor of law" despite the fact that he acquired it through plagiarism.

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Slovak parliamentary speaker refuses to step down despite sham degree - NewsMavens
Andrej Danko. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

There are many politicians in Europe who stepped down when it was revealed that their academic works were copy-pasted from other authors. Faced with these charges, officials have stepped down in Germany, Czechia, and Hungary... but not in Slovakia.

When it comes to political culture, Slovakia still does not belong to the Western world. Parliamentary Speaker Andrej Danko does not even answer journalists' questions about his academic work and he has avoided confrontations with journalists for weeks.

His only defense is that his work is acceptable because, back in 2000 when he wrote it, it was allowed to copy academic texts and compile them into a "new" one. However,  experts and academics have publicly disavowed this, and are calling for his resignation.

Details from the story:

  • Andrej Danko has been the Slovak Parliamentary Speaker since 2016.
  • He is a leader of the Slovak political party SNS (Slovak National Party).
  • In September, a journalist published an article about Danko's missing university thesis. After that, Danko decided to restrict access to it. When he finally showed his work to journalists, they realized his thesis was completely plagiarized.
  • Slovakia does not have a law which will enable the universities or the state to revoke academic title when it has been already given to someone.
  • This is not Andrej Danko's first scandal connected to his titles. He is also known as "Captain Danko" because he received the title of "captain" from the Slovak minister of defense.
  • Andrej Danko is the leader of the country's political party SNS (Slovak National Party).
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy
System.Threading.Tasks.Task`1[System.Threading.Tasks.VoidTaskResult];