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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 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?

 

Nedzhmi Ali on the CAP Strategic Plans

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During the BUDG Committee meeting on September 26th 2018, Nedzhmi Ali MEP presented his draft opinion as rapporteur from BUDG to AGRI Committee, concerning the CAP Strategic Plans:

Merci monsieur le président, Dear colleagues,

On 1-st of June the European Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing rules on support for Strategic plans to be drawn up by the Member States under the Common agricultural policy (CAP Strategic plans). These plans should be financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and by the European Fund for Rural development (EAFRD).

It should be noted that certain changes have occurred in the agriculture sector during the last few years. They include phenomena as falling agricultural products´ prices, further opening of the EU to the world markets, as well as signing up of the Union to new international commitments to include climate change mitigation, broad aspects of international development and efforts to better respond to geopolitical consequences.

The above-stated preconditions necessitate certain changes in the CAP:

Firstly, it should be modernized to meet these challenges;

Secondly, CAP should be simplified in order to solve the tasks with a minimum of administrative burden;

Finally, this policy should be made even more coherent with a number of other EU policies.

Having regard these considerations, we welcome the Commission´s proposal, which is trying to address the challenges, presenting a set of regulations laying down the legislative framework for the CAP during the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2021-2027).

In addition to the Commission´s document, I would like to attract your attention on a number of possible amendments to be presented to the lead committee AGRI for further considerations.

Some of them are related to explicit emphasis on the importance of high EU standards in the production of food, increase the competitiveness and strengthening the world role of the EU.

Others imply on the closing down the gaps between the Member-states and different regions of the Union, as well as stressing the necessity of inclusion of the remote and mountainous regions and provision of increased support to the family farms and attraction of young farmers.

Considering the budgetary implications, several amendments are being proposed concerning firstly the overall financing of CAP during the next MFF starting from the Parliament´s position expressed in its resolution of 14 Mar 2018, complemented by the resolution of 31 May 2018. We propose EUR 382.9 billion in 2018 prices and EUR 430.9 billion in current prices for the next MFF period. With regard to European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and European Fund for Rural development (EAFRD) the respective numbers are presented in Amendment 12 and Amendment 13.

As a conclusion, I would like once more to underline the quality of the comprehensive Commission´s Proposal on the CAP Strategic Plans. While CAP is a core activity and integral part of the security of the Union, I believe that the document will play an important role in the future.

 

Nedzhmi Ali on the establishing of the EU Anti-Fraud Programme

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During the BUDG Committee meeting on September 26th 2018, Nedzhmi Ali presented his draft opinion as rapporteur from BUDG to CONT Committee on the establishing of the new EU Anti-Fraud Programme:

Merci monsieur le président, Dear colleagues,

European Commission proposed a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the EU Anti-Fraud Programme having two main objectives:

  • Protecting the financial interests of the EU;
  • Support to the mutual administrative assistance between the customs´ authorities of the Member-states and the Commission.

While the Union´s financial interests are impacted by both fraud and irregularities, the protection of these interests are shared obligation of the Member-states and the EU. Start of the above stated new programme should coincide with the beginning of the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2021-2027).

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.

In addition to the Commission´s document, I would like to propose several amendments to be presented to the lead committee CONT for further considerations.

Some of the proposals are derived from the European Parliament´s  resolution of 3rd of May 2018 on the Annual report 2016 on the protection of EU´s financial interests or from the Financial Rules. Their purpose is to stress on additional aspects of justification for the new programme.

Others consider the budgetary implications. While the overall financial envelope of the Programme for the period 2021-2027 is presented just in current prices, we made the necessary calculations in order to include the information about the financing in constant 2018 prices for both commitment and payment appropriations. For the three components of the Programme we did the same.

These calculations have been done based on the Methodology for translating the EP position into figures and the attached table, proposed by the Secretariat of BUDG Committee.

In conclusion, I would like to express again our positive attitude toward the new programme, proposed by the Commission. Expectations are this Programme, properly financed, during the next MFF to make a significant contribution to the protection of Union´s financial interests.

 

Nedzhmi Ali on the establishing of the Internal Security Fund

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This statement was presented during the meeting of BUDG Committee on the

25th September 2018 in Brussels and was regarding the establishing of the

Internal Security Fund (ISF).

Merci monsieur le président, Dear colleagues,

I will read ALDE´s position on the Internal Security Fund file:

The Rapporteur supports the Commission proposal, which proposes for the period 2021-2027 to more than double the financial envelope of the ISF. The Fund is a Union’s instrument, which is set up to facilitate cross-border cooperation and joint operations, intensify exchange of information and strengthen capabilities to prevent and combat organised crime and cybercrime, as well as to tackle terrorism and radicalisation.

The main challenge for the next period is to ensure greater flexibility and efficiency of the Fund and to reduce the administrative burden to the minimum. The Rapporteur disagrees, however, that crisis management including prevention, preparedness, resilience and consequence management is not present in the policy objectives of the new Fund and proposes to reinstate it as an essential component for ensuring internal security.

He supports abandoning the only pre-defined maximum allocation level – for the purchase of equipment, in the national programmes for only 15%. It is equally important to ensure that the output and result indicators are proportionate, relevant and do not add to administrative burden of beneficiaries and administrating authorities.

Furthermore, it is important to restore the implementing rule, which has been applied in the last financing period and includes a possibility for the Member State to finance the technical assistance at the initiative of the Member State up to 100% from the Union budget. According to the new Common Provisions Regulation the administrative burden is even higher, therefore, technical assistance should definitely be financed up to 100%.

These were the main points by the rapporteur, and he would be much interested in hearing other input and opinions.

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

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This statement was made during the meeting of the Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament on the 25th September in Brussels.

Thank you Mr. Chair.   Dear Ms Gardiazabal Rubial, dear colleagues,

We welcome the rapporteur´s opinion on the Annual Report on the Financial Activities of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to the leading committee ECON. Using the information from the forward-looking operational plan, published by the Bank, I believe that important insights from the BUDG committee point of view is included in the opinion.

All of us are acquainted with the goal of the European Investment Bank to contribute to EU integration, economic and social cohesion and regional development through dedicated investment instruments. The catalytic effect of the EIB’s fundraising is a key element in defining EU added value and ensuring the Europe´s leading position in terms of competitiveness, innovation, infrastructure and attractiveness.

From this point of view we agree with the positive observations of the Bank´s activities related to the Results Measurement Sheets for investment projects, achievement of 25% climate related financing objective, as well as the creation of the Smart Finance for smart Buildings initiative and investments in social housing.

At the same time, while the EIB is a core actor needed to revitalise the EU economy and maximise the effectiveness and value for money of the financial resources, we would like to underline again the necessity of continuing of work toward a greater transparency and accountability. In this regard it is necessary EIB systematically to pay attention to mid- and long-term effects when defining investment actions and its funding decisions. This ultimately should lead to a better corporate governance. 

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