On Thursday, Romania’s 11-strong National Ethics Council (NEC) rejected the plagiarism charges against Ponta. One day later, a 13-member ethics commission set up by the University of Bucharest — which awarded Ponta his PhD — reaffirmed the charges.
On 29 June, the Romanian National Council for the Attestation of University Titles (CNATDCU), which is in charge of investigating plagiarism charges in PhD theses according to Romanian law, had concluded that Ponta had copied and pasted 85 pages of his thesis from three books without properly marking the copied sections as quotes. But the committee was dissolved during the course of its meeting by acting education minister Liviu Pop.
Meanwhile, concerns are rising in the European Union over what political observers say is a lack of respect in Romania for the fundamental principles of democracy.