From: Exit News
Former EP Rapporteur Knut Fleckenstein Appointed Counselor to Albanian Speaker of Parliament

Knut Fleckenstein, former MEP and former Special Rapporteur for Albania will be EU integration counselor to Albanian Speaker of Parliament Gramoz Ruçi.

Fleckenstein is known for being among the biggest supporters Prime Minister Edi Rama and his government had in the European Parliament (EP). During his years as Special Rapporteur his relationship with the Rama government has always been amiable.

In 2017 and 2018, Fleckenstein’s reports to the EP regarding Albania’s progress toward fulfilling the criteria for opening accession negotiations were systematically more positive than the final, amended, version accepted by the EP. 

Despite previously declaring he had not partaken in negotiations with protesters, Fleckenstein played a key role in the negotiations that broke the political deadlock preceding the national elections in 2017, resulting in the McAllister+ agreement, which provided the blueprint for the current political crisis.

Following the 2017 elections which brought about an absolute majority of the Socialist Party in the new Parliament, Fleckenstein declared that “an absolute majority is not a risk to democracy.”

Fleckenstein lost his European Parliament seat in 2019. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, part of the Party of European Socialists, who applauded Prime Minister Edi Rama for demolishing the National Theater.