Borrell, Várhelyi: Adoption of “Foreign Agents Law” Would Negatively Impact Georgia’s EU Path

EU High Representative Joseph Borrell and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi reacted in a joint statement today, April 17, to the adoption of the so-called “Foreign Agents Law” by the Georgian parliamentary majority in its first reading, stressing that “this is a very concerning development and the final adoption of this legislation would negatively impact Georgia’s progress on its EU path”.

“This law is not in line with EU core norms and values,” the joint statement reads.

High Representative Borrell and Commissioner Várhelyi praise Georgia’s vibrant civil society by saying that it “contributes to the country’s successful progress towards EU membership.” The statement emphasizes that the law would only harm the civil society organizations that benefit the Georgian people, saying: “The proposed legislation would limit the capacity of civil society and media organizations to operate freely, could limit freedom of expression and unfairly stigmatize organizations that deliver benefits to the citizens of Georgia.”

The statement notes that the laws adoption happened in spite of  repeated calls by the European Union to retract such legislation, and despite the mass protests. It states: “The EU urges Georgia to refrain from adopting legislation that can compromise Georgia’s EU path, a path supported by the overwhelming majority of Georgian citizens,” the statement concludes.

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