Funeriu in the gun sight of Labour Inspection: baccalaureate diploma checked

Education ministry suspects that the presidential adviser has no baccalaureate diploma and university degree recognised in Romania.

The Ministry of Education has alerted the Labour Inspection (IM) about the employment of ex-Education Minister Daniel Funeriu as an adviser by the Presidential Administration, because he does not hold a baccalaureate diploma recognised in Romania and has not had his higher education recognised either. ‘From the point of view of secondary education, he does not hold a baccalaureate diploma and, regarding his higher education, we have not found on the Ministry’s records no document showing that his studies had been recognised in this country’, Minister of Education Liviu Pop said according to Mediafax. Asked if Funeriu hadn’t needed the same documents for being minister of education, Pop said he had not because he had been an appointed official of the state, an office that does not require the recognition of diplomas. Asked to comment on the petition filed by the Ministry of Education with the IM in Funeriu’s case, Victor Ponta said it was not a matter of his direct competence and asked that the law should be enforced. Labour Minister Mariana Campeanu yesterday said a request had been received at the ministry to check Mr. Funeriu’s employment circumstances at the Presidential Administration and said the authorities would consider the request and act according to the applicable legal provisions. ‘I think this is an elementary thing we require of anyone who works in Romania – have their studies recognised as we have to do when we go to work abroad’, Campeanu said. On the other hand, the minister does not exclude the possibility that the former education minister might have dealt with the problem in the meantime, but said that it still needed to be checked.Last night, at the appointement ceremony of the new Culture Minister, president Traian Basescu told Mariana Campeanu that he is eagerly waiting for the Labour inspection. Prior to Campeanu’s statement, Dantes Nicolae Bratu, general state inspector with the IM, was saying his institution had not received any request to check a presidential adviser and noted that, should one be received, verification would only be conducted if the situation fell under the competence of the IM. According to Bratu, the IM may perform checks only in the cases of Presidential Administrations workers who have an individual employment agreement. If the worker is a civil servant, any verification is to be made by the National Agency for Civil Servants. Daniel Funeriu so far has made no statement on the subject. On May 24, 2011, Funeriu was, however, saying that he had not had his studies recognised in this country because his position at the time (minister of education – our note) and his work did not require that. He also said it seemed ‘unnatural’ to him to have to ask his subordinates to recognise his education. Daniel Funeriu obtained his baccalaureate at the Lycée International des Pontonniers in Strasbourg, France, in 1989.

He had completed 11 grades at the Timisoara-based High School of Philology and History, the Chemistry-Biology department, and the 12th grade at the Lycée International des Pontonniers. In 1995 he obtained a master’s degree in organic and supra-molecular chemistry from the ‘Louis Pasteur’ University of Strasbourg, graduating top of his class, and, in 1999 he got a PhD Magna cum Laude in chemistry from the same university. His PhD supervisor was Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry. The education of the former minister of education have been recognised by automatic procedures in the US, Japan and Germany where he has worked for various institutes and universities.

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