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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 establishing of an EU Anti-Fraud Programme

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This statement was presented during a meeting of the EP’s Budgetary control committee on 13.12.2018 in Strasbourg. Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) was shadow rapporteur on this file.

Thank you Mme Chair, Mr. Salafranca, Dear colleagues,

First of all, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur for the presented draft report.

The proposal of the European Commission for establishing an EU Anti-Fraud Programme is timely and serves the goals not only to protect the financial interests of the Union but also to support the mutual administrative assistance between the customs´ authorities of the Member-states and the Commission.

We welcome the Commission´s proposal, establishing the EU Anti-Fraud Programme, streamlining the existing Hercule III Programme and two operational activities: the Anti-Fraud Information System (AFIS) and the Irregularity Management System (IMS). Expectations are to achieve increased synergies and budgetary flexibility, as well as simplified management.

Considering the budgetary implications within Article 3, due to the scope and importance of the Programme, we support the Parliamentary approach to increase substantially the financial resources.  In order to ease understanding of the financing, the overall financial envelope of the Programme for the period 2021-2027 is presented in current prices and necessary calculations are made to present the financing in constant 2018 prices. It is valid also for all three components of the Programme.

In conclusion, I would like to express again our positive attitude toward the proposed by the Commission programme. We expect this Programme, if properly implemented, to become an important element in the protection of Union´s financial interests.

Nedzhmi Ali on the Conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Turkmenistan

N. Ali AFET 1

This statement was presented during the meeting of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) on 6.12.2018 in Brussels. Nedzhmi Ali MEP was shadow from ALDE Group on this file.

Dear Mr. Chair, Ms Manescu (rapporteur), colleagues,

I would like to congratulate the rapporteur for the presented interim report that describes in a balanced way the history of relations between EU and Turkmenistan, as well as the latest development. We appreciate the approach in the report envisioning establishing a set of short-term benchmarks to measure the sustainable progress by the government and the long-term recommendations for sustainable and credible progress.

We may add some explanations in several areas:

Firstly, concerning the Human Rights there are positive steps such as the adoption of a comprehensive National Action Plan on Human Rights in 2016 and the nomination of the first Ombudsman, in accordance with the provisions of the revised Constitution. At the same time, there is still existing major gap between the legislative framework adopted by Turkmenistan and its effective implementation.

Secondly, Democracy. It is important to have a clear division between the executive, legislative and judiciary branches, including a consultation with international experts on the compliance of the Constitution of Turkmenistan with these democratic principles. In addition, we should underline the importance of respect for the principles of a pluralistic democracy.

Thirdly, the issue of a general lack of Transparency that still remains a problem in Turkmenistan. We should not underestimate the importance of showing openness to international scrutiny, international organizations and independent monitors. In this regard we should note the positive developments such as visits in 2017 of foreign diplomats to penitentiary facilities and the readiness of Turkmenistan to facilitate other such visits.

Fourthly, concerning the Turkmenistan’s contribution to the regional stability. Turkmenistan’s status of permanent neutrality has contributed to its role in promoting regional stability and in tackling common threats such as terrorism, violent extremism, illicit drug trafficking, and transnational organized crime. A decade long active presence of the UN Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Ashgabat is a result of this policy of promoting regional dialogue and conflict prevention.

And finally, it is very important the European Parliament to be properly informed about the implementation of the human rights and democratization provisions of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

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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This statement was presented during the joint BUDG/CONT meeting, which took place on Tuesday, 27.11.2018 in Brussels. N. Ali is shadow rapporteur for ALDE Group from the side of the Budgetary control committee for this complex mechanism.

Thank you, Mr. Chair, Dear rapporteurs, colleagues,

The necessity for the EU to deliver efficiently on its priorities is of paramount importance in the current moment of time, as we are coming close to the beginning of the new MFF (2021-2027). As already outlined, the most fundamental of these prerequisites are related to the rule of law.

I would like to note once again that we welcome the Commission´s proposal, as not only this document presents the regulatory framework for successfully funding of the EU budget, but it also underlines how important it is to protect the EU budget at every stage of its functioning.

Taking careful note of all amendments proposed to the text, we support the emphasis on the connection between the rule of law, fundamental rights and improvement of some of the basic definitions. We are also positive towards the proposed additions to the measures where a generalized deficiency as regards the rule of law in a member-state affects the principles of sound financial management or the protection of the Union´s financial interests. There is a need to create two things: a mechanism, which is as straightforward as possible, and a tool, which ensures the protection of beneficiaries. While the Commission has a set of ideas on this matter, organizing a constructive dialogue on this aspect would be very beneficial.

We also believe that there is a need to closely follow the regulatory guidelines. The proposed mechanism relates only to the Budget of the EU and in this sense, we need to keep it focused on what is most important. This regulation has to be created and embedded in the new Multiannual Financial Framework and in order to fulfill this we should continue with our constructive efforts.

Thank you.

Nedzhmi Ali on the Discharge 2017: General Budget of the EU – European parliament

N. Ali Rodopi

This statement was presented by Nedzhmi Ali MEP, ALDE Group, during the CONT Committee meeting on November 26th in Brussels.


Dear Mme Chair, Ms Schmidt, Mr. Welle, Mr. Sassoli, Mr. Russo, colleagues,

First of all, I would like to thank Parliament’s leadership for the detailed answers to the questions we have prepared within our Committee.

Concerning the most important characteristics of the European Parliament for year 2017 – the use of the financial resources as well as fulfilment of the objectives for that year, we could say that the results are encouraging. In 2017, when we had appropriations totalling 1.910 billion EUR, 99.0% of the budget was committed and only 0.9% had to be cancelled. Indeed, this proves the 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 when preparing the 2017 budget.

I would like to attract your attention also on several particular issues:

Firstly, something that is very important for us as members of the Committee on Budgetary Control – strengthening the in-house expertise on accounts and auditing that rapporteurs can make use of in the preparation of their discharge reports. We are satisfied with the internally created system that increases the CONT Secretariat´s quality of work.

Secondly, in relation to the provided by you detailed information about functioning of the House of European History. While our Union last several years experiences numerous challenges, we need to intensify the use of valuable assets like this in order to promote further the understanding of European history and European integration. From this point of view I believe that the numbers of visitors could be increased probably through a well targeted communication campaign.

Thirdly, in relation to the increase in the level of risk associated with legality and regularity, DG FINS set up the Compliance Monitoring Unit, reporting directly to the Director-General of DG Finance. We perceive in a fully positive way this approach. May you give us additional information how this Unit shares information with CONT and if there are some difficulties in this field how they could be overcome?

Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) on the Draft report on the 2018 Commission Report on Turkey

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This statement was presented during a two-hour debate in AFET, the Foreign affairs committee of the European parliament, on 21.11.2018 in Brussels.

Thank you, Mr. Chair, Ms Piri, colleagues,

Firstly, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur for the report covering the large spectrum of events occurred in the envisioned period.

I would like to begin with a few words on the migration crisis. In her report, Ms Piri correctly points out that Turkey played an important role in tackling the migration crisis and that the Turkish people showed great hospitality by offering shelter to more than 3 million Syrian refugees. In the meantime, there is an information, for me as a representative of a border country, of Bulgaria, which is a neighbor of Turkey, that there is tension brewing in the country among the local population and refugees, because of the huge number of newly settled people – totaling almost 4 million people. Despite the enormous pressure, our partners have proven to be a stable force in this problematic situation.

Allow me to turn now to the economic side of things. The EU is Turkey’s number one trade partner, and Turkey is Europe’s sixth largest trade partner. The EU is the biggest foreign investor in Turkey and the latter is an important growth market for the EU, as correctly outlined by our rapporteur Ms Piri. In its report, the Commission goes into more detail, stating that Turkey is a well-advanced market economy and what is more, Turkey has continued to align with the acquis, although at a limited pace, largely due to the issues of migration and the coup. We need to keep these facts in mind when assessing the situation.

In this regard, I would like to turn to the main point – the call to formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey. I would like to ask Ms Piri, if this proposal is accepted, what would be the framework of cooperation between the two sides? In your report, on one side you mention the furthering of the customs union and visa liberalization, which I agree is very important, but on the other side you say that all accession negotiations should be stopped. How can we advance if we have frozen negotiations? If we declare commitment to the bilateral dialogue with Turkey, do you think that this scenario would bring us closer to our goals, if we burn all the bridges?

Overall, suspension of the negotiations would directly damage the Turkish civil society and will not contribute to bringing Turkish people closer to the EU, which is something we should not accept. And what kinds of messages are we sending to the civil society, because their opinion is just the opposite – to have more intensive dialogue. Thank you.

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.