Leading MEPs: Foreign Agents’ Law Jeopardizes Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic Integration

On April 18 leading MEPs issued a statement saying that the draft law on “Transparency of Foreign Influence” re-tabled by the GD “runs against Georgia’s ambitions for EU membership and jeopardizes the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration.” The statement further says that the law, which passed its first reading on April 17, “is an attack on independent media and civil society organizations” and is incompatible with EU values and democratic principles.”

The statement, signed by Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee David McAllister, Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with South Caucasus Marina Kaljurand and the European Parliament’s standing rapporteur for Georgia Sven Mikser expresses “deep concern” by the re-introduction of the draft law and calls on the Georgian Government and Parliament “not to disappoint the aspirations of the majority of Georgian people and to engage with the national and international partners on ensuring an enabling working environment for civil society organizations.”

The authors also write that they are “worried about the reports of riot police using force to disperse protesters demonstrating against the controversial draft law” and stress that the right to peaceful protest is a fundamental right and must be strictly respected, especially in a country aspiring to EU membership.

The statement calls on the Georgian leadership to ensure the protection of freedoms of expression and assembly and to avoid any escalation of violence.

Reiterating unwavering support to Georgian people’s “legitimate European aspirations” the statement reminds that steps identified by the European Commission, “still need to be implemented.”

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