Brussels urges Georgian authorities to withdraw ‘foreign agents’ law, warning of negative impact on EU progress
May 15, 2024

Brussels urges Georgian authorities to withdraw ‘foreign agents’ law, warning of negative impact on EU progress

The European Union has urged the Georgian authorities to withdraw the law ‘on transparency of foreign influence’, adopted by Georgian Parliament in third reading, despite “large protests and unequivocal calls by the international community”.

In a statement, EU High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Commission warned that the adoption of the law “negatively impacts Georgia’s progress on the EU path”. 

“The choice on the way forward is in Georgia’s hands. We urge the Georgian authorities to withdraw the law, uphold their commitment to the EU path and advance the necessary reforms detailed in the 9 steps,” the statement said.

The relevant 9 steps were set out in the European Commission recommendation of 8 November 2023 to grant Georgia the status of a candidate country. “These steps,” Borrell said in the statement, “require human rights to be protected and civil society as well as the media to be able to operate freely. They also refer to the need for depolarisation and the fight against disinformation.”

Borrell added that the EU stood with the Georgian people and their choice in favour of democracy and of Georgia’s European future: “The intimidation, threats and physical assaults on civil society representatives, political leaders and journalists, as well as their families is unacceptable. We call on the Georgian authorities to investigate these documented acts.”

The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum also adopted a statement yesterday that strongly condemned the adoption of the law and called for emergency support for Georgian civil society. 

“The people of Georgia and its civil society need an urgent lifeline to safeguard the country’s fundamental rights and freedoms, preserve its vibrant civil society and media, and remain on the path to join the European Union,” said Natia Kuprashvili, EaP CSF Steering Committee member and Georgian National Platform National Facilitator.  

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