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


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.

ECA Special Report on “The European External Action Service´s management of its buildings around the world”


Dear Chairs, Mr. Russo, Mr. Czarnecki, dear colleagues,

First of all I would like to express appreciation for the comprehensive study implemented by ECA on the management of the European External Action Services´ buildings in year 2014. Management of the buildings is important, because on the one hand it is related to the spending of 165 mln. Euros from the EU budget, and on the other hand all of these buildings, their appearance and the appropriate working conditions for the personnel represent the first impression about the EU among the local population.

Also, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur Mr. Czarnecki for the preparation of the Working document. This paper presents correctly the most important elements of the ECA special report, as well as a list of recommendations for possible inclusion in the Commission´s annual discharge report. These recommendations could increase substantially the deepness of scrutiny and therefore the quality of the discharge.

Concerning the acquisition of the buildings, it should be underlined that:

- Firstly, in order to increase the added value we definitely need to establish a longer term planning and to start to think with a horizon between 5 and 10 years instead with the current 2 years.

- Secondly, there is a need of careful estimation weather purchasing offers better value for money and proceed with it when the real estate market in the particular place is relatively weak.

Finally, I have a couple of questions to the representatives of ECA.

- What was the reason only 84% of the delegations to respond to the survey?

- On what basis have been selected the four delegations to be visited for a site inspection?

CAP tools to reduce price volatility in agricultural markets


Mr. Chair, dear colleagues,

Price fluctuations are a common feature of any agricultural product market. But when these become large and unexpected (or volatile) they can have a negative impact on the food security of consumers, farmers and entire countries. Recently the world markets have seen a series of dramatic swings in commodity prices. Food prices reached their highest levels during the summer of 2008, collapsing the following winter, before rapidly rising again in the months that followed. Food prices today are expected to remain volatile.

The volatility in global agricultural markets present rising and more frequent threats to world food security. At the same time this volatility can be intensified by other macro-economic variables, the broad political and legislative environment, and speculation on agricultural products which, when sold as financial assets, are exposed to shocks on related commodity markets (such as the energy and metal markets). Furthermore the increased vulnerability is being triggered by an increase in extreme weather events and the impact of climate change on agricultural production levels, as well as by structural factors such as energy and fertiliser prices, exchange rates or interest rates.

Having in mind the above stated, our proposal is the Committee on Budgets to call on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Firstly, Emphasises that the EU is both the world’s largest importer and exporter of agri-food products, but the options of using CAP rural development programmes (RDPs) to contribute towards insurance, mutual funds and income stabilisation schemes for farmers have not been very successful;

2. Secondly, Calls for better synergies between CAP and other EU policies, in particular regarding energy, water supply, land use, biodiversity and ecosystems, and the development of remote and mountainous areas;

3. Thirdly, Calls for the creation of a system to protection farmers’ incomes through the use of ‘risk management’ tools, changing the efforts undertaken so far in the 2014-2020 CAP reform;

4. Finally, Urges the Commission and the Member States to monitor the significant price volatility of agricultural products by improving the European Food Prices Monitoring Tool (FPMT).

Nedzhmi ALI– Mid-term Review of the Investment Plan


Mr. Chairman, Dear colleagues, Commissioner Katainen,

18 months after the introduction of the Investment Plan it´s time to make the first overall Mid-term assessment of the results in order to be sure that it supports the priorities declared by the Commission and adds value to the European economy.

The latest figures reveal that we have already substantial investments from EFSI that should trigger total investment of 100 bil. Euros. These resources are spread throughout the vast majority of the EU member-states and are concentrated in the areas of energy, research and development, transport, digital single market and other sectors – vital for the European economy.

In the case of Bulgaria several banks have already signed agreements and are active in the area of supporting Small and Medium Enterprises.

Equally important are the other two strands of the Investment plan: the Transparency of investment opportunities and strengthening the advisory services, as well as Improving the investment environment.

Having in mindthe first results we support the implementation of the Plan.In the case of extending of activities of the Fund, we call for more effective projects´ distribution to include all the underdeveloped regions of the Union.

Nedzhmi ALI- Budgetary Capacity for the Eurozone

Dear Mme Chair, dear colleagues, Mr. Balcytis, First of all I would like to congratulate the rapporteur for the opinion that covers the most important aspects of Budgetary capacity introduction within the Eurozone. The significance of the issue stems mainly from the experience related to the negative consequences of the recent crisis and the difficulties to react at European level. While there is an urgent need to implementation of some bold reforms in the field, we need to get answers from the Commission to several questions: – What exactly could be the main functions of a possible Eurozone budget and what would be the added value of its implementation? – What would be the main sources of revenue of the budget? – If the budget is going to incorporate not only the Eurozone countries but also the rest of the member states, what would be the impact on the legal area in order to implement this? – And finally, if this kind of capacity is going to be developed outside of the Multiannual financial framework, as it is suggested in point six of the opinion, how the democratic scrutiny of the budget would be organized? Concluding, recently it became completely clear that something should be done in order to increase substantially the shock absorption capacity of the European Union thus avoiding the risk to the countries associated with the economic difficulties in times of crisis. The idea of introduction of Budgetary capacity at this level is a good solution to the challenges.

Nedzhmi ALI: “Water Quality in the Danube River Basin”


Dear Mme Chair, dear colleagues, Mr. Deutsch,

First of all I would like to congratulate both the European court of Auditors for the comprehensive report and the rapporteur for the working document. The water quality of the Danube River is important not only for the protection of the ecosystems alongside of the largest European river basin, but also for the Black Sea region which goes beyond the area of the EU.

Whereas billions of euros from the European budget have been spent for the improvement of the water quality, it is important to be sure that these resources were used in an appropriate way. As it has been pointed out four countries have been audited out of nine member states in the Danube River Basin.

In the presented report I couldn´t find a connection to the European Union Strategy for the Danube region launched in 2010 that includes 14 European states. One of the cornerstones of the Action Plan within this Strategy is the environmental issue. While the audit covers three main aspects – pollution from agglomerations, from industry and from agriculture, the question is why the environmental impact of transport links, tourist developments, or new energy-producing facilities hasn´t been considered.

Regarding the Working document, we believe that the rapporteur´s recommendations are well structured and cover the major challenges related to the pollution of the Danube River and if implemented correctly could lead to both environment improvement and more efficient use of the financial resources.

Nedzhmi ALI: The VAT system should be simplified and made user friendly for the business

Dear Mme Chair, dear colleagues, Recently the European Commission issued an Action Plan on Value Added Tax (VAT) with a final goal creation of a single VAT area. This VAT area could support a deeper and fairer single market, and help to boost jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness. VAT is one of the major sources of revenue in the EU, raising annually more than 1 trillion EUR. One of the EU’s own resources is based on VAT. At the same time we should recognize that the current VAT system is fragmented, complex for the growing number of businesses operating cross-border and is prone to fraud. Regarding the above stated, VAT system needs to be modernized:

  • It should be simplified in order to become business friendly. Now the compliance costs are significantly higher in single market trade than in domestic trade, while complexity is stifling business, especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs);
  • It must combat the growing risk of fraud. The “VAT gap” between expected revenue and revenue actually collected EU-wide is estimated at 170 billion EUR, while cross-border fraud alone accounts for 50 billion EUR of revenue loss each year;
  • It needs to be more efficient, in particular at exploiting the opportunities of digital technology and reducing the costs of revenue collection;
  • It must be based on greater trust both between business and tax administrations, and among EU MS´ tax administrations.

European Commission plans to present a legislative proposal to put in place a definitive VAT system. This system should be based on the principle of taxation in the country of destination of the goods. This means that the taxation rules according to which the supplier of goods collects VAT from his customer will be extended to cross-border transactions. This change alone should help reduce cross-border VAT fraud by 40 billion EUR per year. The current system is also struggling to address innovative business models and technological progress in today’s digital environment. Different VAT rates between physical and digital goods and services do not fully reflect today’s realities. Moreover Member States feel unduly constrained in their rates-setting policy. Overall, this action plan sets out the consecutive steps required toward a single EU VAT area. It sets out immediate and urgent actions to tackle the VAT gap and adapt the VAT system to the digital economy and the needs of SMEs. It provides clear longer-term orientations on the definitive VAT system and VAT rates. There is a need to improve the performance of EUROFISC; to coordinate the strategies of the national authorities and EUROPOL, EUROJUST and OLAF dealing with the fight against fraud; to introduce new models of sharing of information in real time. Member States should improve the timeliness of their replies to information requests and the reliability of the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES). OLAF and Europol should have access to VIES and Eurofisc data and Member States should benefit from the intelligence information supplied by them in order to gain efficiency in their fight against organised crime operating at a transnational level. Both the PIF directive and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) regulation would complement and strengthen the legal framework and considerably reinforce the fight against fraud. The Commission and the Member States should strengthen cooperation with non-EU countries and enforce VAT collection, so as to establish standards of cooperation based chiefly on the principles of transparency, good governance and exchange of information. Concluding, we need to implement necessary reforms in order to effectively combat fraud, remove administrative barriers and reduce regulatory costs to simplify life for Europe’s businesses.