EU is Concerned by the Draft Law on Foreign Agents

“The draft NGO law submitted to parliament by People’s Power is concerning. Creating and maintaining an enabling environment for civil society to operate, and ensuring media freedom, is at the core of democracy”- said the Lead Spokesperson of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Peter Stano in a written statement, in response to questions from Netgazeti.

He stressed: “It is also key to the EU accession process and part of the 12 priorities. Under international law, States have the duty to respect, protect and promote a safe and enabling environment for civil society, both online and offline, as well as freedom of expression and of the media. International human rights law and standards recognize that access to resources, including funding, is an integral component of freedom of association, as enshrined in article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Georgia is party.”

Stano emphasized that access to domestic and international funding should not be restricted, rather it should be facilitated as essential for the existence and important work of civil society.

The registration of media organizations and non-governmental organizations as “agents of foreign influence” is envisaged by the draft law, which was prepared by “People’s Power”, known for its anti-Western rhetoric, and supported by “Georgian Dream” in an active ongoing campaign. “People’s Power” and “Georgian Dream” are united in the parliamentary majority.

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