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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


Meeting with EU’s Commissioner for Justice Věra Jourová

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On 14th of September 2016 a breakfast meeting organised by the ALDE members of the Parliament took place in Strasbourg, France. The special guest of the meeting was the European Union’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality – Věra Jourová.

The main topic of the meeting was the functions and the power of the European Public Prosecutor’s office (EPPO) which is expected to be established until the end of this year.

Nedzhmi ALI called Commissioner Jourová for a stronger information campaign concerning the establishment of the European Public prosecutor’s office as the cross border criminal offences affecting the Union’s financial interests are often very complex and need effective cooperation among Member states more than ever.

The Member of the European Parliament also suggested that the future functions of the EPPO should include a reinforced cooperation with the national prosecutors.

Nedzhmi ALI: The new ALDE Coordinator in the Budgetary Control Committee

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With the opening of new parliamentary season the MEP from ALDE Group Nedzhmi Ali was elected as ALDE Coordinator in the Committee on Budgetary Control of the European Parliament. As coordinator Nedzhmi Ali will be the main representative of the ALDE group in the Committee on Budgetary Control in the EP and together with the other coordinators (representing the rest of the political groups) he will have numerous technical powers which include the assigning of various reports to the rapporteurs, the appointment of shadow rapporteurs and he will have the responsibility for mobilization of the ALDE group in the European Parliament during the votes.

The Committee on Budgetary Control is entitled to ensure the legality, accuracy and financial soundness of the budgetary operations and financial control systems, as well as sound financial management of the EU budget (economy, efficiency and effectiveness). The Committee on Budgetary Control also contributes to ensure the effective spending of the Union’s budget in order to protect the interests of the European taxpayer by applying the Treaty of Lisbon and by strengthening the control over the results achieved by European programs.

One of the key elements of the work of the Committee on Budgetary Control in order to achieve  the above stated is the discharge procedure, during which the MEPs check the amount of the resources spent by the European Commission, other institutions and agencies of the EU. Over the years this procedure has become a very important tool to assess how public funds are spent and how the EU projects are being implemented.

Discharge is being granted by the European Parliament on the recommendation of the Council. Before taking the decision the EP checks the financial accounts and annual reports prepared by the European Commission and the Annual Report of European Court of Auditors on how the budget has been utilized. In connection with the discharge, the relevant Commissioners answer the written questions of the Committee on Budgetary Control and participate in the discussions within the meetings of the Committee.

During the plenary sessions the European Parliament votes separately on the discharge of each EU institution, which has its own independent part of the EU budget. Furthermore, the European Parliament votes separately on the discharge of the Agencies, Joint undertakings and the European Development Fund.

Nedzhmi ALI to Commissioner MOGHERINI: Are we doing enough to protect the external borders of the Union?

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Mr. Chairman, Ms Vice-president, Dear colleagues,

As European partners of Turkey, we have to repeat again our condemnation of the July coup attempt. This Coup was a test for the Turkish democracy. The reaction of the Turkish people deserves our support and solidarity.

Despite the turmoil in the country, the government institutions continued their proper functioning, thus guarantying the existence of the democratic society.

Together with Turkey, we are in a complex geopolitical situation, we are pressed by the same challenges and we have a set of common interests. The problems can be handled acting together. This inevitably leads us to increase all the aspects of our cooperation.

The accession negotiations with Turkey must continue, raising the level of the constructive dialogue. The process of visa liberalization should be accelerated, thus improving the trade relations, providing for economic growth and employment both in EU and Turkey.

We should not forget that Turkey shelters more than 3 million refugees, having spent more than 8 bill Euros to sustain these people. Do we abide by our commitment to provide financial resources to support the efforts of our Turkish partners?

Finally, speaking about the migration pressure, are we doing enough to protect the external borders of the Union, as it is the case of my country Bulgaria and Greece, in order to keep the internal borders open?

After the analysis of Nedzhmi ALI: a letter-statement to the EU and Turkey leaders

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The Friends of Turkey Group in the European Parliament strongly condemned the July coup attempt and expressed solidarity and support to the Turkish people. During the preparation of the letter-statement the group approved and endorsed all the analysis of the MEP from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and member of the Friends of Turkey group in the EU Nedzhmi Ali. Group’s members unanimously supported the proposal of Nedzhmi Ali concerning the acute need for the EU and Turkey to work together effectively to overcome common challenges, including migration, security and energy among others.

You can find below the whole letter-statement:

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Brussels, 2 September 2016

We, as members of the Friends of Turkey group in the European Parliament, want to repeat our strong condemnation of the recent coup attempt and show our solidarity and support for Turkey’s secular, democratic institutions. We wish to express our solidarity with the people of Turkey and send our deepest condolences to the families of the 265 people killed in the attempted coup.

We sincerely hope the political unity following the coup will lead to a stronger democracy by reinforcing the rule of law. We are concerned that the handling of the aftermath of the coup, resulting in mass dismissals and arrests, could lead to further polarisation and division within the society. Respecting the rule of law, human rights and human dignity is the only way to heal the wounds caused by the coup attempt.

As Turkey is going through one of the most difficult times in its history, engaging in a sincere and constructive dialogue with the Turkish government, all opposition parties and civil society organisations, becomes more important than ever. The EU and Turkey should work together effectively to tackle shared challenges in the field of migration, security and energy, among others. We strongly support Turkey’s role as a long-standing and reliable member of the NATO alliance.

We urge EU leaders and high-level EEAS and European Commission officials to visit Turkey at their earliest convenience in order to discuss and better understand the impact and consequences of the failed military coup in Turkey.

We would also like to call on the chairmen of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee to reconvene its parliamentary activity as a matter of urgency with an early meeting with an open agenda and free-ranging exchange of views.

As the European Parliament was already in recess when these events occurred, we only had the opportunity to discuss the coup attempt in an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Committee meeting held on July 19th. We would like to invite a cross-party delegation from Turkey’s Grand National Assembly to visit Brussels and meet Members of the European Parliament and EU officials.

We reiterate our commitment to continue engaging in constructive dialogue and building relations with Turkey and its people in these difficult times.

Artis Pabriks and Ismail Ertug, co-chairs of the Friends of Turkey group

Nedzhmi Ali

Franc Bogovic

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt

Marietje Schaake

Pavel Poc

Geoffrey Van Orden

Nedzhmi ALI: We need to allocate more resources to achieve a better combat efficiency! The European defence union will ensure the security of the EU territory

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First of all I would like to congratulate the rapporteur Mr. Pons for the opinion on European Defence Union. The findings and recommendations in the paper are correct.

Indeed EU Member States spend 1.4% of their combined GDP for defence purposes, or about 200 bill. Euros, but the results are not impressive. It is obvious that spending is not sufficient and the allocation of resources is not adequate. The lack of European defence capabilities restricts the Union’s ability to project stability beyond its borders. A solution would be a greater cooperation among Member States and integrating their defence capabilities.

The trend of declining defence budgets throughout the Union should be reversed. Historically has been proved that in order to maintain capable armed forces in current circumstances, states should spend no less than 2% of their GDP. This would allow sufficient resources not only for the personnel but also for operation and maintenance, which is a prerequisite for the normal combat training.

Additionally, the annual spending on major new equipment, including related Research & Development,not be less than 20% of total defence expenditures. The responsibilities and budget of the European Defence Agency should be established appropriately.

Furthermore, the most effective use of funds and more balanced sharing of costs and responsibilities in the quest of achievement of required capabilities is vital for the creation of defence power.

Maintaining a strong defence industry within Europe as a background of the military power is a mandatory condition. A more integrated, sustainable, innovative and competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base will contribute to the creation of jobs, growth and innovation across the EU.

Establishing of European defence union would allow us, in the framework of NATO as cornerstone of European security architecture, to strengthen the defence of EU territory. This would enable the Union to act autonomously if there is a need in operations abroad, with an ultimate goal to stabilising its neighbourhood.

Nedzhmi Ali: The total backlog of outstanding payments in EU Budget 2016 continues to decrease

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The MEP from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group Nedzhmi Ali took part in the discussion on the implementation of the EU budget at the end of August this year. He joined this meeting as a member of the Committee on Budgets in the European Parliament and ALDE rapporteur for the Budget 2016. The inter-institutional meeting on the evaluation of payments in the implementation of Budget 2016 was attended by representatives of the main institutions involved in the management and control of the budget funds – Council of the EU, the European Parliament and the European Commission.

The European Commission was represented by its Vice-President and Commissioner for budget and human resources Kristalina Georgieva. Her briefing included detailed information about the implementation of the EU budget at the end of August. Budget performance was presented in comparison with the same period of 2015 and with the forecast for 2016.  Commissioner Georgieva put a particular emphasis on programs which show significant deviations compared to the previous period or to the forecast for the current year. Forecast of the Member States of implementation of “Economic, social and territorial cohesion” budgetary line was presented and summed up. The state of play of accumulated unpaid amounts for the first half of 2016 was analysed.

The presented information caused a lively debate in the conference hall, a number of findings were made and numerous supplementary question were asked to Commissioner Georgieva, to which she gave quite complete answers.

“The main conclusion for the implementation of Budget 2016 could be that despite the slowdown in comparison with 2015, it is slightly better than the forecasts for the current year, the total volume of outstanding payments continues to decline in line with the plan and the interest payments have been sharply decreased,” commented MEP Nedzhmi Ali right after the discussions.

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Nedzhmi ALI: Visa liberalisation for Turkey will help business, economic growth, promote competition and cooperation between the intelligence services

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Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee Meeting

Strasbourg, Wednesday 06 Jul 2015, 17:15 – 19:00

Dear Mr. Chairman,

Your Excellency Ambassador Yenel,

Dear members of the Committee,

Dear Colleagues,

First of all, I would like to express my sincere condolences to our Turkish friends, especially to the relatives of the victims at the Istanbul airport terrorist attacks. This awful act that left dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded once again showed the ugly face of terrorism which doesn´t recognize borders and proved that only with united efforts of all countries we could protect our citizens. In order to implement this, we need real acts of solidarity.

Regarding the EU-Turkey relations recently occurred some positive developments. At the meeting of the Accession Conference with Turkey at Ministerial level in Brussels a decision was taken to open negotiations on Chapter 33 – “Financial and budgetary provisions. As we heard from representatives of the European Commission, there is a readiness to be opened another 5 chapters (15 – Energy, 26 – Education, 23 – Judicial reform and fundamental rights, 24 – Justice, Freedom and Security, 31 – Foreign Policy). While the opening is forthcoming, I believe that all criteria are already at final stage. Thus the number of opened chapters will become 21 out of all 35.These events prove that the process of cooperation between EU and Turkey is proceeding in a positive direction, which is a good sign in view of the long period of accession talks lasting more than 20 years.

Regarding the refugee crisis we should underline again the key role that Turkey plays in the process of control of refugee flows. Whereas in March EU and Turkey agreed to end the irregular migration from Turkey to the EU, this approach has started to deliver results, with a sharp decrease of the irregular crossings of the Aegean sea from Turkey into Greece. Yesterday it was announced by the European Council President Donald Tusk in his statement in the Parliament.

On 30th of June the European Commission proposed to mobilise an additional 1.4 billion Euros in support for refugees in Turkey, with a view of raising the total amount allocated under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey to 2 billion Euros by the end of July. These financial resources will cover measures in the areas of education, health, municipal and social infrastructure and socio-economic support. Already a year debates are under way for the 3 billion Euros, but still very insignificant amount has been provided. It should be emphasized that these funds are for the refugees in Turkey, not for Turkey.

Part of the EU-Turkey Statement in March was granting Turkish citizens visa liberalization as early as in June 2016. Regrettably, EU´s assessment is that Turkey hasn´t been fulfilled the necessary conditions. Nevertheless, we hope that this process will be finalized before the end of this year. Visa liberalization will be mutually beneficial due to different reasons, for example:

- Firstly, decreasing the heavy burden for the business and citizens; and

- Secondly, encouraging exchange of ideas, promoting competition, trade, economic growth, improving the cooperation between the intelligence services.

There are also some positive developments regarding the reunification of Cyprus. We need further the Turkish support for the negotiation process within the divided island. Having in mind the necessity of the peaceful solution of the problems and the importance of the Eastern Mediterranean region for the security of the Union, it is imperative to continue to work toward the finalization of the process.

Finally, let me attract your attention to the fact that the last JPC meeting with our Turkish colleagues was almost a year and a half ago – in March 2015 in Turkey. As you know that a joint Bureau meeting was scheduled for the 3rd of June 2016, which was cancelled because an agreement on the agenda was not achieved. Nevertheless, I would like to suggest you to have our next JPC meeting as soon as possible, because it is necessary to discuss all of the questions regarding the EU – Turkey relations.

There should be meetings of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, stressing on the words JPC, because it comprises both the Members of the European Parliament and the Members of the Turkish Parliament. Otherwise, the discussions are being held on the basis of one-sided information and many questions aren´t being answered by the other side, creating a false picture of the situation in Turkey. The dialogue between the EU and Turkey is necessary to be implemented not only at a level of bureaucrats, but also at the level of politicians.

Due to the very high dynamics of the situation, I think that the JPC meetings should be in parallel to the agenda of the communication between the European Commission and Turkey. Otherwise, we risk turning the European Parliament in just of a registrar of the facts and events which is not in the interests of the bilateral relations.

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