MEPs Call on European Commission to Monitor GD Decisions’ Compatibility with EU Candidate Status

Members of the European Parliament representing a wide spectrum of political groups, made a joint statement today in which they “deeply regret” the intention of the ruling GD to reintroduce the law on “foreign agents”, “which was strongly rejected by the Georgian society” last year. The statement reads: “We also call on the European Commission to monitor whether such decisions by the Georgian authorities are consistent with the status of a candidate country and to provide an assessment in a timely manner.” MEPs further state that “in case of a regressive process of Georgia’s accession to the EU, the European Commission might have to return to the initial positions of the enlargement process.”

The statement emphasizes that the law on “foreign agents” is incompatible with EU values and democratic values and runs against Georgia’s ambitions to for EU membership.”

The statement also recalls that Georgia was granted EU candidate status last year on the condition that relevant steps would be taken, and stresses that the bill in question violates at least two of these steps: step 9, which calls for civil society to be involved in legislative and policy-making processes and to operate freely; and step 1, which calls for the fight against disinformation against the EU and its values.

MEPs recall that the EU provides substantial assistance to Georgia, which is focused on helping Georgia implement key pro-European reforms and improve the lives of the Georgian people, supporting businesses, promoting economic development, building infrastructure, etc’. The law in question, say the MEPs, “would label Georgian civil society actors as “foreign agents” and “enemies of the state” if they received similar EU funding as the Georgian government for similar activities.”

MEPs call on the Georgian leadership to honor the commitment it made last year and not introduce the law on “foreign agents”, and “instead invest in an inclusive relationship with the Georgian civil society which proved to be instrumental in monitoring and supporting the implementation of reforms that would lead to Georgia’s integration into the European Union.”

Members of the European Parliament stress that “Georgia belongs in the European Union and this can only be achieved by adhering to EU values and democratic principles, including a vibrant civil society.”

The statement is signed by the following MEPs: Petras Auštrevičius, Renew Europe, Lithuania Miriam Lexmann, EPP, Slovakia Sven Mikser, S&D, Estonia Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Greens/EFA, Germany Anna Fotyga, ECR, Poland Andrius Kubilius, EPP, Lithuania Karin Karlsbro, Renew Europe, Sweden François Thiollet, Greens/EFA, France Katalin Cseh, Renew Europe, Hungary Anna Júlia Donáth, Renew Europe, Hungary Andrey Kovatchev, EPP, Bulgaria Hilde Vautmans, Renew Europe, Belgium Michaela Šojdrová, EPP, Czechia Michael Gahler, EPP, Germany Reinhard Bütikofer, Greens/EFA, Germany Ramona Strugariu, Renew Europe, Romania Jozef Mihál, Renew Europe, Slovakia Marek Paweł Balt, S&D, Poland Rasa Juknevičienė, EPP, Lithuania Attila Ara-Kovács, S&D, Hungary Nacho Sánchez Amor, S&D, Spain Isabel Santos, S&D, Portugal

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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