"The question of ethics hasn't been sufficiently addressed"

  • Lukas Hochscheidt in Paris ©Sciences PoLukas Hochscheidt in Paris ©Sciences Po

In the run up to the French presidential election, the famous weekly Paris Match invited international students from the Sciences Po Undergraduate College to shed some light on the words that matter to them in politics. Lukas Hochscheidt, 19, a German student in the dual Bachelor's degree programme with Freie Universität Berlin on the Nancy campus, chose the word ‘ethics’.

Why did you choose the word ‘ethics’?

Because I think that the question of ethics hasn’t been sufficiently addressed with regard to all the scandals that have arisen since the beginning of the presidential campaign in France. The candidates concerned try to blame the justice system and the media, analysts often refer to the presumption of innocence, and many voters believe that they are “all corrupt” at the head of state anyway. What’s missing is a substantive debate on what is acceptable or not if you’re running for president. Personally, I believe that a presidential candidate should be doubly irreproachable:legally and morally. Having no criminal record is not enough to meet both criteria.

As a German, what’s your view of the French presidential campaign?

For a German, the presidential campaign is a rather strange experience; the scandals and revelations of the past weeks would have had very different consequences in Germany. For instance, Mr. Fillon would certainly have resigned after his indictment; the same goes for Marine Le Pen who has refused to comply with a police summons. Given their history, Germans are very attached to the moral integrity of their representatives. A candidate for the Chancellery involved in a legal case? It’s completely inconceivable!

Personally, what did you get out of collaborating with a media publication like Paris Match?

It was the first time I’d taken part in this kind of editorial project, and I’m very happy to have done so. Paris Match’s supervision of my drafting helped me to use my ideas to full advantage and write a coherent and interesting article. Even if I’m not planning a career in journalism, the media remains a very important player in public life, which I will certainly have something to do with some day, no matter what field I work in myself. Being involved in this collaboration let me discover journalistic work from another point of view, and I will not forget it.

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