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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 2017 Discharge of the agencies and of the EU

N. Ali Rule of law - Родопи

Thank you Mr. Chair, Commissioner Oettinger, President Lehne,

I would like to congratulate both rapporteurs for the discharge of the EU´s decentralized agencies and the European Parliament for the financial year 2017. These are institutions whose functioning has a substantial impact on the everyday lives of the European citizens and on their perception of effectiveness of law-making within the Union.

These 32 agencies had a combined budget amounting to 2.24 billion EUR in payment appropriations. Having in mind the magnitude of their activities, for us it is important that ECA issued clean opinions on the legality and regularity of the payments underlying the agencies´ accounts, except for one of them.

Despite some weaknesses, related to the staffing, public procurement procedures and lack of harmonization of information technology, we should underline that the agencies demonstrated increased cooperation that helped to enhance their visibility. Furthermore, they were able to demonstrate improvements in efficiency, as well as to generate added value.

Concerning the European Parliament, we also have positive attitudes. The use of the financial resources in the fulfilment of objectives for 2017 shows encouraging results. 99% of the budget was committed and only 1% had to be cancelled. This proves good management of the financial resources. At the same time, the objectives pursued and outcomes achieved during the year stem mainly from the priorities set by Parliament’s competent bodies preparing the budget.

Some of the improvements, introduced within the Parliament during the year of 2017, helped not only to increase the effectiveness of its functioning generally, but also to support the quality of work of our committees.

 

Strasbourg, Tuesday, March 26th 2019

Nedzhmi Ali on the 2018 Report on Turkey

N. Ali Plenary ALDE

This statement was presented at the Plenary session in Strasbourg, which took place on 12.03.2019.

Thank you, Mr. President, Commissioner Hahn, Ms Piri, colleagues,

The final text of 2018 Report on Turkey doesn´t help to continue a constructive dialogue between the EU and our strategic partner. Suspension of the negotiation process is unacceptable for us.

Before the final decision, we need to take into account the progress made by Turkey recently:

On 11th of December 2018, the fifth meeting of the Reform Action Group (RAG) held in Ankara announced that Turkey will decisively continue its efforts to align with EU standards, despite political obstructions in the negotiations.

Ankara has set the goal of achieving closure of the monitoring procedure of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe.

The Ministry of Justice is intending to update the Judicial Reform Strategy together with the Council of Europe and the EU.

To strengthen the protection of fundamental human rights, RAG plans to update the Action Plan on Prevention of Violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

A proposal to even formally suspend the negotiation process will be accepted negatively by the Turkish civil society, which is looking at the EU as a friendly community. In the light of the upcoming elections in Europe and in Turkey, we need to be very careful what kind of messages we are sending to the voters.

Nedzhmi Ali on the Annual Report for 2017 on the protection of the European Union´s financial interests – fight against fraud

N. Ali - Plenary - ALDE

Nedzhmi Ali MEP (ALDE Group) was shadow rapporteur for this file, which was discussed during the Mini-Plenary session of the European parliament in Brussels on 30.01.2019.

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

We are satisfied with the fact, that in 2017 the total number of irregularities reported to the Commission, were by 21% fewer than in 2016. Their value of approximatively 2.58 billion EUR, had a 13% decrease from the previous year.

However, not all Member States have adopted national anti-fraud strategies and there is still a gap between the Member States in the reporting process. Member States have to establish a uniform system for collection of comparable data on irregularities and cases of fraud in order to standardise the reporting process and ensure the quality and comparability of the data.

We welcome the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor´s Office for which purpose for the first time the EU budget 2019 includes appropriations of 4.9 million EUR.

We also welcome the Commission’s proposal for a regulation on the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States. We expect objective and systematic assessments based on a set of indicators and independent reports.

Report includes also some aspects related to public procurement such as digitalisation and prevention at early stages of the tender procedure; as well as import procedures, expenditure, problems identified and measures required, investigative journalism, as well as transnational fraud.

Finally, we welcome the Commission’s proposal to empower OLAF to investigate value added tax matters and call on the Commission to establish a certain level of transparency of OLAF reports and recommendations.

Nedzhmi Ali on the ECA Special Report for the Facility for Refugees in Turkey

N. Ali - ALDE

This statement was presented during the joint meeting of CONT, AFET and DEVE Committees of the European parliament, which took place on 29.01.2019 in Brussels. The ECA Special report was presented by the ECA Member Bettina Jakobsen.

Thank you Mme Chair, Dear Ms Jakobsen, colleagues,

There is a common understanding that the Facility for refugees in Turkey as a central element of the EU-Turkey statement of March 2016 plays an indispensable role for coping with the migration crisis that affected Europe starting in 2015. The results of reduction of the refugee flows are visible especially in the regions of South Eastern and Central Europe, mainly in the southern borders of the EU.

The FRT, as a mechanism for coordinating and streamlining the financial support from the EU and Member States to the refugees in our neighbor, generally has shown consistent results during the first phase. We expect this to continue with visible results during the second phase as well.

While we don´t live in a perfect world, there are some deficiencies in the effectiveness of achieving the objectives of coordinating the financial support. From this point of view, I would like to congratulate the European Court of Auditors (ECA) for the detailed assessment that reveals the drawbacks and shows the ways to overcome them. We are equally satisfied with the response of the European Commission that accepts all of the ECA´s recommendations.

Having regard the information from the Special Report, I would like to address the representatives of the Commission a couple of questions:

1. Firstly, concerning the role of the FRT´s Steering Committee, are you ready to implement the lessons learnt from the activities so far in order to improve the process of setting overall priorities for the second phase of the facility?

2. And secondly, how do you plan to improve the distribution of funding in order to assure its proportionality to the needs in each priority area?

And I think that there is also a need for clarification about the financing of the FRT. I believe that often the mistake is made that the money is received by the Turkish government. No, it is going to the projects, there are over 70 projects and I think that this needs to be clarified, so that MEPs are correctly informed.

Nedzhmi Ali on the 2017 Discharge to the Agencies

N. Ali - CONT ALDE

This statement was presented during the meeting of CONT Committee of the European parliament on 22.01.2019. Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) was shadow rapporteur for the 32 total reports for the Discharge to the Agencies.

Dear Mme Chair, Mr. Sarvamaa, dear colleagues,

First of all, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur for the reports on discharge of the European Union´s decentralized agencies for the financial year 2017. Having in mind the importance of agencies´ impact on the daily lives of Union´s citizens, the presented today bulky work answers the questions related to the real outcomes of agencies´ functioning during the year 2017.

Once again, we should underline that these 32 agencies had a combined budget in 2017 amounting to 2.35 billion EUR in commitment appropriations as well as 2.24 billion EUR in payment appropriations, presenting a substantial increase in comparison with the previous year.

Concerning the horizontal report, covering the areas of performance, financial management and control of all of the agencies activities, I would like to share some observations:

Firstly, the scope and structure of the report reflect to a very high extent the task to present the overall activities of EU’s agencies in year 2017. While the budget and financial management, performance, staff policy and procurement are among the most important aspects of their activities, a better understanding of the quality of these activities would be achieved through a bit higher emphasize on the inclusion of principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness in Agencies´ daily operations, annual planning and controls.

Secondly, we are satisfied with the observation that the overall risk to the reliability of accounts is low for all of the agencies. At the same time, the overall risk to the legality and regularity of transactions underlying the agencies´ accounts as well as the risk to sound financial management are medium.

Thirdly, calculating the percentage of the payment appropriations financed by the Union´s budget in 2017 however, we see some increase in comparison with year 2016, which is not a step in the right direction. Indeed for the next MFF the individual agencies should explore new sources of incomes in order to overcome the excessive dependence on the EU budget.

Fourthly, it is absolutely correct to urge the agencies and the Commission to apply the principle of performance based budgeting, to provide the highest possible added value and to improve the efficiency of resources management. One of the most effective way to accomplish the latter is to increase the interagency cooperation not only in establishing shared services but also in their common policy areas.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that the EU agencies with the efforts of their employees and using a substantial budget are highly visible in the Member States and have significant influence on policy and decision making and programme implementation in areas of vital importance to European citizens. This requires from our side maximum scrutiny on all of their activities.

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

N. Ali Rule of law - Родопи

This statement was presented at the Plenary session of the European parliament in Strasbourg on 16.01.2019 in the presence of Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources.

Thank you Mr. Chair.   Dear Commissioner Oettinger, colleagues,

In order to protect the Union’s budget and financial interests for the next MFF we need a new regulation that is not a sanctioning mechanism but rather a tool to ensure sound financial management.

The regulation includes under the term “rule of law” all the Union values enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of functioning of EU and in the Copenhagen criteria for Union membership, including fundamental rights. A generalised deficiency as regards the rule of law may affect the principles of sound financial management or the protection of the financial interests of the Union.

The Commission should establish an Advisory panel of independent experts which would undertake an independent annual assessment of the rule of law situation in all Member States. Commission, when making its decisions, should take into account the relevant Panel´s opinion.

In order to strengthen the protection of final recipients or beneficiaries, in the regulation are proposed additional measures. The Commission shall also ensure that any amount due by government entities or Member States is paid to the beneficiaries.

A positive characteristic of the regulation is that the Parliament is put on an equal footing with the Council in the process of adopting or lifting the respective measures. Commission submits a proposal to the Parliament and the Council, to transfer to a budgetary reserve the respective amounts, which would enter into force only if both institutions do not reject it. 

Nedzhmi Ali on the Annual Report on the control of the Financial Activities of the European Investment Bank for 2017

N Ali - EIB - Rodopi

This statement was presented during the Plenary debate on 16.01.2019 in Strasbourg in the presence of Werner Hoyer, Executive director of the EIB and Jyrki Katainen, EU Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.

Thank you Mr. Chair, Dear Commissioner Katainen, Mr. Hoyer, colleagues,

Pivotal role of the Bank is to ensure a value-adding strategic public investment supporting the sustainable growth and creating high-value jobs within the EU. As an example the overall finance approved by the EIB Group within the EU in 2015-2016, will support 544 billion EUR of investment, add 2.3% to GDP and create 2.25 million jobs by year 2020.

In 2017 the EIB successfully achieved its objectives, implementing EU policy in line with its mission and as detailed in its Operational Plan. The Bank lending signatures reached almost 70 billion EUR, of which 90% within the Union. This financial resource was dedicated to four strategic areas: innovation and skills; infrastructure; environmental projects; as well as SMEs and midcaps. The SMEs received more than 40% of the whole sum, which is in correspondence with their role as backbone of the European economy. Results would be better with proactive policy and increasing the funding to these enterprises.

We are satisfied with the conclusion of the Audit Committee that the Financial Statements adopted by the EIB Board of Directors present a true and fair view of the financial position of the Bank and of the results of its operations and cash-flows. A better corporate governance will be achieved paying greater attention to mid- and long-term effects when defining investment actions and its funding decisions.

In order to speed up the economic recovery in the Union and to help certain economic sectors and geographical areas to catch up, a major role plays the European Fund for strategic Investments (EFSI). With mobilised investments at the end of 2017, exceeding 207 billion EUR, EFSI is on the way to reach its goal. Despite the need to avoid some of the geographical imbalances, the improvement in transparency is visible with the publication of the EFSI Investment Committee decisions and the documents adopted by the Steering Board together with the minutes of the meetings.

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