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Europe is the huge home of the old and the new democracies which guarantee the freedom and prosperity of all citizens within the Union. Ironically, the name 'Europe' is given to us by the Phoenicians from which emerge associations for the material and the money. Centuries later, the European Union is an example for all mankind to the rule of law and moral values. The coordinates of a better life, guaranteed human rights and freedoms are all here. Each resident of the European Union must feel the European Parliament as a guarantor of human achievements which give freedom, prosperity, peace. This Parliament is the heart of democracy in Europe!

Nedjmi Ali

Member of the European Parliament,
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

Actual news

Nedzhmi Ali on the Interim report on the MFF 2021-2027 – EP´s position with a view to an agreement

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This statement was presented by Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) during the Plenary debate of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on November 13th 2018.

Thank you Mr. President, Commissioner Oettinger, Minister Edtstadler, colleagues,

MFF translates the EU´s policy priorities into budgetary means. We need a sufficient budget in order to achieve objectives of the Union, most important among them are: sustainable economic growth, research and innovation, empowering young people, addressing the challenges of migration, strengthening the economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as the security and defence, protecting the external borders and supporting the neighbouring countries.

In this regard the global level of next MFF should be 1.3% of the EU 27 Member-states´ GNI. In this way the Union will be able to meet emerging needs, challenges and new international commitments, as well as to achieve its political objectives.

MFF should support with priority the Common agriculture and Cohesion policies and to opposeany radical cuts that would prevent the Union from closing the gap between the member-states. We support also the European Social Fund Plus and the integrated in it Youth Employment Initiative.

For the next MFF we need increased accountability, simplification, transparency, performance-based budgeting and maintaining the necessary degree of flexibility. The new structure of MFF with seven headings is expected to ensure that these requirements are met.

Nedzhmi Ali participated in the conference “Göbekli Tepe: the Land Where the Cultures Meet”

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On the 7th November Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE, Bulgaria) took part in the conference “Göbekli Tepe: the Land Where the Cultures Meet. From History to Gastronomy …”, organized by TUR & BO (the Brussels liaison office of Turkey´s research and business organisations) and the Permanent Representation of Turkey in Brussels. The opening of the conference also featured statements by Mr.Zeki Levent Gümrükçü, Ambassador of Turkey to the EU and Ismail Ertug, chairperson of the EP-Turkey Forum.

Below you can read the statement of Mr. Ali:

Göbekli Tepe, regarded as one of the oldest sites of archaeological ruins and one of the oldest temples in the world was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List on 1st of July 2018. It is an important cultural heritage for all the civilisations in the world as it is unique and oldest to be known architectural work.

Göbeklitepe could be regarded as one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 21st century. It dates back 12 thousand years ago. In other words, it’s 4 thousand years older than the pyramids and 7 thousand years older than the Stonehenge. Furthermore, it is even older than the human transition to settled life. Therefore, contrary to the widely held view, it proves existence of religious beliefs prior to the establishment of the first cities.

Findings of researchers at Göbeklitepe show that a religious class existed even at such early ages, division of society into social classes took place well before the widely assumed dates and perhaps the first agricultural activity may have been conducted in the region.

It is a Discovery that Changed the Human History

Since unearthing the monumental structures, Göbeklitepe attracted attention of the world, and many articles about it were published and many documentaries were produced. The BBC broadcasted a documentary and The Guardian and other newspapers published articles.

Archaeologists are still excavating Göbekli Tepe and debating its meaning. What they do know is that the site is the most significant in a volley of unexpected findings that have overturned earlier ideas about humankind’s deep past. Just 20 years ago most researchers believed they knew the time, place, and rough sequence of the Neolithic Revolution - the critical transition that resulted in the birth of agriculture, taking Homo sapiens from scattered groups of hunter-gatherers to farming villages. The next step from there was toward technologically sophisticated societies with great temples and castles, as well as kings and priests who directed the labour of their subjects and recorded their feats in written form. But in recent years multiple new discoveries, Göbekli Tepe preeminent among them, have begun forcing archaeologists to reconsider.

At first the Neolithic Revolution was viewed as a single event—a sudden flash of genius—that occurred in a single location, Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is now southern Iraq, then spread to India, Europe, and beyond. Most archaeologists believed this sudden blossoming of civilization was driven largely by environmental changes: a gradual warming as the Ice Age ended that allowed some people to begin cultivating plants and herding animals in abundance. The new research suggests that the “revolution” was actually carried out by many hands across a huge area and over thousands of years. And it may have been driven not by the environment but by something else entirely.

Of all the aspects of the revolution, agriculture was the most important. For thousands of years men and women with stone tools had wandered the landscape, cutting off heads of wild grain and taking them home. Even though these people may have tended and protected their grain patches, the plants they watched over were still wild.

True grain agriculture began only when people planted large new areas with mutated plants creating fields of domesticated wheat and barley that, so to speak, waited for farmers to harvest them.

This has been a very brief run through so many terms and so many research fields and historical eras. Understanding of this enormous heritage for all of us in this room has to still enter our thinking about how cultural heritage opens the area of inclusiveness.

As we know our host, the Brussels liaison office of Turkey´s research and business organisations, TUR & BO monitors the latest developments in the European Research Area and provides advice to their founding partners with an emphasis on developing strategic analysis in terms of Turkey´s participation in relevant EU programmes – Horizon 2020 and COSME.

While the role of these programmes in support of the humankind´s cultural heritage is indispensable, now preparing the new Multiannual financial framework of the EU for the period 2021-2027 we are trying to increase the respective financial resources. European Parliament in its resolutions insists the financing for Horizon Europe to be 120 billion EUR, a substantial increase in comparison with the current programme, as well as doubling the resources within COSME programme.

In conclusion, we can say that the passionate history of this discovery is still holding many surprises for us and that we can rethink the roots of our origins. We all are included in the consequences of the future research, which we support with whole heart from the European Parliament and from our hearts as Europeans and human beings.

Nedzhmi Ali on the General budget of the EU for the FY 2019 – all sections

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Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE, Bulgaria) presented the following statement at the Plenary debate on the General budget of the EU for the financial year 2019 – all sections, which took place on 22.10.2018 in Strasbourg. He was shadow rapporteur for the budget of the Parliament and the Other Institutions.

Thank you Mme. Chair, Dear Commissioner Oettinger, Minister, Löger, colleagues,

Discussing the next year´s EU budget, I would like to attract your attention to several topics:

Firstly, concerning the budget of the European Parliament. The overall figure of the Parliament’s budget is at level of 1.999 billion EUR. Thus, the Parliament’s share of the Heading 5 will stay at the level of 18.5%, which is the lowest in the past 15 years.

Secondly, concerning the budgets of Other Institutions. Their importance for the implementation of the Union´s policies is significant. If we want these institutions to function with highest possible effectiveness, they should be properly financed. We propose to restore the cuts on the budgets of the European Court of Justice, Committee of the Regions, Economic and Social Committee and European External Action Service, with some upper adjustments. These institutions are crucial for the proper functioning of the EU.

Within Section III, there are drastic cuts on the lines related to Turkey IPA II funds. From the proposed by the Commission draft budget of 244.1 million EUR for Line “Support for political reforms” Council cuts almost 60% of the sum. There is an extra decrease of 66.8 million EUR on other two lines, while 50 million EUR of them are linked to the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, which is against the interests of the Union. Our opinion is that these cuts would deprive the Commission from its leverage to properly manage the relations between EU and Turkey. It will have ultimately a negative effect on the Brussels-Ankara relations.

Finally, excluding the excessive and unjustified cuts, we believe that the overall approach to the next year´s budget is correct and we expect our position to be maintained during the conciliation process.


Nedzhmi Ali on the establishing, as part of the Integrated Border Management Fund, the Instrument for financial support for customs control equipment

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During the meeting of CONT Committee on 18.10.2018, Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) presented a draft opinion to IMCO for the establishing of the Instrument for financial support for customs control equipment, for which he is rapporteur.


Dear Mme Chair, colleagues,

The 2 140 Customs offices at the external borders of the EU play an important role providing a substantial part of the Traditional own resources, thus generating approximately 15% of the income part the Union´s budget. Correct collection of customs, which this regulation also facilitate, helps safeguarding the financial interests of the Union and maintaining the single market.

In this regard, the Commission´s proposal for a Regulation establishing as part of the Integrated Border Management Fund, Instrument for financial support for customs control equipment provides the necessary financial resources for customs to perform their tasks. This Instrument aims at improving equivalence in the performance of customs control throughout Member States to avoid the diversion of flows of goods towards the weakest points.

The financial resources dedicated for customs control equipment will support the purchase, maintenance and upgrade of the eligible detection equipment for customs controls in the wide sense. The Instrument should also in some cases cover detection equipment used for control purposes beyond customs controls.

The Commission´s proposal is consistent with and will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Customs Union. The proposed instrument will complement the actions foreseen under the EU´s Customs programme. Furthermore, the proposal is consistent with Union policies in the area of safety and security. The Instrument will enable maximising the impact of the Union budget by supporting co-sharing and inter-operability of control equipment and thereby also supporting inter-agency cooperation as a component of the European integrated border management. There will be synergies between the EU Anti-fraud Programme and the customs control equipment instrument, thus contributing to the protection of the financial and economic interests of the Union and its Member States.

In addition to the Commission´s proposal, in our Opinion to IMCO we suggest a number of amendments that aim at further improving the regulation from the budgetary control point of view. Amendments are concentrated on the transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination, as well as inclusion of technical training of the personal operating with the equipment.

Other suggestions are related to the indicators and to the performance reporting of the Instrument. The Commission should provide the European Parliament and the Council with updated information on the performance. Concerning the financial envelope for the implementation of this Instrument during the next programming period totaling 1.3 billion EUR we presented in the line with the EP resolutions also the financing in 2018 constant prices.

And finally, we suggest in the proposed regulation a new Annex to be developed to present the justified exceptional circumstances for funding in excess of the ceiling of financing within the Instrument.


Nedzhmi Ali on the state of the debate on the Future of Europe

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Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) presented this statement as shadow rapporteur during the consideration of a draft opinion to AFCO on this topic, during the ordinary meeting of CONT Committee on 10.10.2018 in Brussels.

Dear Mme Chair, Mr. Sarvamaa, colleagues,

Europe is facing numerous challenges, which have no prospects of abating. The recent global financial crisis is over, but this natural process would come back in the future. Due to the destabilization of our neighbourhood, refugee waves will continue periodically to rise toward the continent. There are also many challenges related to the terrorism, defence, emerging of new global economic powers, demographic problems and new industrial revolution.

Having in mind the above stated, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur for the presented opinion that is trying to give an answer to the future challenges from CONT point of view. Efficient and effective use of resources, democratic accountability, public audit arrangements and accounting efficiency should be adjusted to the inevitable changes in the future.

We fully agree with the notion that the EU policies should be delivered more strategically. EU needs to have a strong vision for the future development covering at least a 10 to 15 year time period. Most of the expected challenges can´t be tackled on a daily basis. We should have a longer term programmes and appropriate control systems.

Concerning the necessity to promote seeking of European added value, I think that there is a need for a commonly agreed quantitative and qualitative definitions of this term to be developed.

And finally, we agree with the proposal to be secured sufficient financial resources going together with the modernization and further development of the system for own resources.


Nedzhmi Ali on the Protection of the Union´s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member states

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Nedzhmi Ali, Shadow rapporteur from the side of CONT Committee for this file, presented the following statement at the BUDG/CONT Joint Meeting, which took place on October 10th 2018 in Brussels.

Merci monsieur le président, (Mme Chair), Dear colleagues,

Approaching the start of new Multiannual financial framework (MFF), there is a common understanding that the EU could deliver efficiently on its priorities if the necessary prerequisites are in place. Some of these prerequisites are related to the rule of law.

In this regard, the proposed by the European Commission Regulation on the protection of the Union´s budget is coming at a right time. We welcome the Commission´s proposal, as it is a document that presents the regulatory framework for successfully funding of the EU budget. Thus the Union would be able to implement its policies to the benefit of the European citizens.

I would like to congratulate both rapporteurs for the proposed amendments to the original text that are directed towards improvement the Commission´s proposal. We support the emphasis on the connection between the rule of law and fundamental rights and the improvement of some of the basic definitions. We are also positive toward the proposed additions to the measures that shall be taken where a generalized deficiency as regards the rule of law in a MS affects the principles of sound financial management or the protection of the financial interests of the Union.

At the same time, I am not sure that we need in this type of regulatory document such a strong emphasis on the role of the Cooperation and verification mechanism (CVM) in its current form. Generally, CVM was intended to prevent certain weaknesses remained in some Member States in the areas of judicial reform and the fight against corruption. While such weaknesses could prevent an effective application of EU laws, policies and programmes everywhere throughout the Union, this CVM should be modernized, streamlined and applicable for all of the Member states.


Nedzhmi Ali, rapporteur on the ECA SR 26/2018 (Discharge 2017): A series of delays in Customs IT systems: what went wrong?

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During the CONT Committee meeting on 10th October, Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) was rapporteur on the ECA SR 26/2018 (Discharge 2017): A series of delays in Customs IT systems: what went wrong?, and gave the following statement:

Dear Mme Chair, Mrs Lindstrom, colleagues,

Customs play an important role in the context of providing a substantial part of the Traditional own resources exceeding 20 billion Euros in year 2017 that equals approximately to 15% of the EU budget. Customs help safeguarding the financial interests of the Union and of the Member States but they also protect the public against terrorist, health, environmental and other threats.

In this regard, the ECA special report assessing the implementation of Customs´ Information Technology (IT) systems, presents a very sober analysis of the situation, with relevant conclusions and properly established recommendations.

Here is important to note that the Commission, despite some additional explanations and disagreements on part of the observations, accepts all of the recommendations in ECA´s Special Report.

Nevertheless, I would like to ask the representatives of the European Commission a few questions that are based on the information from the Report.

We are discussing a programme, successor of programmes that started in the distant year 1991 and within the next MFF will be succeeded by the next Customs programme. While for the next programme, the Commission envisions 950 million Euros in current prices and there is a consensus with the European Parliament on this number, we would like to be sure that the implementation will be on time, with the full scope and within the financial limits.

In this regard for me is difficult to understand why if there is in place a Multi-Annual Strategic Plan setting down a strategic framework and milestones for managing IT projects coherently and effectively, such enormous delays in implementation occur? Were the objectives, the indicators, timetable and the needed financial resources correctly set in that Plan?

In a couple of years we expect the beginning of the new MFF. Within the Function 1 (Single market, Innovation and Digital) several programmes are envisioned – EU Anti-fraud Programme, FISCALIS and Customs. At the same time within Function 4 (Migration and Border Management) there is an Integrated Border Management Fund and related specific Instrument for financial support for customs control equipment. Assuming that all of these programmes will act in synergy, how the possible delays in implementation of one of them would influence negatively the others?

While a substantial amount of financial resources have been devoted to the current Programme which objectives haven´t been achieved, may we speak in this case about Performance based budgeting and European added value?

From the ECA´s report is visible that the implementation of part of the projects within the Multi-Annual Strategic Plan 2017 is set for the end of 2025. When the integration of the separate projects and Full operational capability of the whole system will be reached? May we expect this process to be completely finalized before the end of next MFF?

And finally, one question to ECA. According to the regulations, Member States keep 20% of the funds collected from the customs duties as collection costs and the remaining 80% goes to the EU Budget as revenue. While these 20% generally are for the administering of the process, ECA believes that these financial resources are sufficient to cover also the expenditure incurred by MS for implementing customs IT systems. On what estimates this assumption is based?