Revealed: 40% of EU leaders are law graduates

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Will lawyer skills work in their favour during Brexit negotiations?

A map of Europe doing the rounds on social media has shown that the heads of our 27 fellow EU countries are dominated by law degree-holders.

Our Prime Minister, a second-class geography graduate, may struggle in the European Court of Justice part of Brexit negotiations when she finds herself up against 11 European leaders who took their first degrees in law. That’s 40% of all EU country heads of states.

These heads of states include Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus, who studied for his postgraduate at UCL before becoming a law firm partner. Portugal’s head honcho is a former law school teacher, as is Poland’s president.

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Robert Fico, Slovakia’s Prime Minister, is a criminal law specialist, while the top dog of the EU’s headquarters, Belgium, enjoyed a career at the Brussels bar before going into politics.

This EU 11 is rounded off by the heads of Spain, Denmark, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Croatia.

The map also shows that a number of countries outside of the EU, such as Russia and Montenegro, are headed up by law graduates. This is the case for Iceland and Switzerland, who are not EU Member States but are part of the Schengen. Also note Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, has a law degree, too.

While law certainly dominates among European leaders, it seems plenty of other specialisms will be brought to the Brexit negotiating table as well.

Aside from more run-of-the-mill subjects like philosophy (France) and physics (Germany), the head of Bulgaria has a military sciences degree specialising in fire-fighting. And the Prime Minister of Sweden studied social work for a year-and-a-half but dropped out, meaning he has no degree at all.

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