Nordic-Baltic Countries: Agents Bill “Incompatible with EU Norms and Values,” Disrupts European Future

On May 10, the Nordic-Baltic countries – Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania- issued a joint statement, saying the reintroduced foreign agents bill “is incompatible with European norms and values. If adopted, the law could be used to silence media and civil society organisations that play a vital role in helping Georgia on its way to EU membership.” The statement urges the Georgian authorities to drop the bill.

According to the statement, despite the fact that the EU showed its support to the aspirations of the Georgian people by granting the candidacy and giving the clear roadmap for starting the accession talks and then membership, the Georgian government has chosen “a concerning trajectory disrupting Georgia’s European Future.” The Nordic-Baltic countries dismiss the comparisons of the bill with the EU draft legislation by the Georgian authorities, calling it “unfounded and misleading” claims.

“The decision to pursue EU membership is the sovereign choice of Georgia and its people. It is the responsibility of the Georgian authorities to fulfill the preconditions if it wishes to join the European Union,” the statement says adding that “the EU candidate status was granted to Georgia on the understanding that 9 steps would be fulfilled. At this point, Georgian authorities have not made overall progress in fulfilling those steps.”

In this context, the statement also emphasizes that “the anti-Western rhetoric of Georgian authorities seriously risk undermining Georgia’s European choice.”

“We have a strong wish to see Georgia succeed on its European and Euro-Atlantic path as desired by a large majority of the Georgian people. We hope the Georgian government will use this historical window of opportunity created by a reinvigorated EU enlargement process and revert to the course towards EU membership,” the statement concludes.

Nordic-Baltic Cooperation (NB8) is a regional cooperation format, bringing together eight countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. According to the Estonian MFA, the annual meetings of Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers serve as the main format of cooperation on the political level since 1993. NB8 countries’ other ministers, MPs and other officials also conduct regular meetings.

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


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