European Union is concerned about Georgian law on “foreign agents”

The bill “On the transparency of foreign influence”, introduced on consideration to the Georgian parliament, causes “serious fears” that the political leaders of Georgia are following the course to join the European Union and maintain the values ​​of democracy. Deutsche Welle writes that the official representative of the head of the EU diplomacy, Josep Boar, said so.

“The creation and maintenance of a favorable environment for civilian associations and the freedom of the media underlies democracy” and are part of a list of 12 priorities, following which serves as the country to become a member of the European Union, emphasizes in the statement. And the adoption of this bill “would contradict these aspirations, as well as the norms and values ​​of the EU.”

The bill “On the transparency of foreign influence” introduced the public movement “The Power of the People” to the Parliament of Georgia, founded by former members of the ruling party “Georgian Dream”.

According to the document, it is proposed to include NGOs and media, which receive 20% of financing from a foreign state. This norm does not apply to advertising contracts. Refusal to register in the register of “foreign Agents” can lead to a fine of up to 25,000 Lari (8800 euros). A legal entity or an individual entered into the list of “foreign agents” will be obliged to provide annual declarations. Also, a person who gets into this register will be forbidden to receive any information from civil servants.

Deutsche Welle recalls that in the summer of 2022 the European Commission designated the necessary steps on the way to join the European Union, when she considered applications from Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Then the EU proposed a number of reforms for all three countries. For Ukraine, these were “seven steps”, for Moldova – nine, for Georgia, they designated 12 “homework”, which need to be completed before the country can give the status of a candidate. The list of “12 priorities” includes, among other things, the need to ensure cooperation between political parties, guarantees of the independent functioning of state institutions, plans for judicial reform – including the requirement to take into account the decision of the ECHR, the fight against corruption in the country and “deoligarchization”, and Also, the protection of human rights, the desire for gender equality and the fight against violence against women.