Women’s Business Association Close to GD Slams the Foreign Agents’ Bill

On May 13, the business association “Women for Tomorrow” issued a statement detailing the risks that the adoption of the Foreign Agents Law may pose to Georgia’s EU integration, what other tools are available to ensure the transparency of NGOs, and calling on the government not to adopt the law in its third reading.

The founder and board chairman of the Business Association “Women for Tomorrow” is Nino Kobakhidze, the former Deputy Head of the Administration of the Government of Georgia (2014-2017), during the Premierships of Irakli Garibashvili and Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

The Association emphasizes that the content of the draft law and the situation surrounding the law increase polarization in Georgia and negatively affect Georgia’s EU integration. With this statement, they remind the public that Georgia’s Western partners have made it clear that the law doesn’t comply with the fundamental principles of the EU. The statement reads this contradicts Article 78 of the Georgian Constitution, which obliges the constitutional bodies of Georgia to do everything in their power to ensure Georgia’s accession to the EU and NATO.

The statement also questions the motives of the legislators, saying the transparency in the activities and finances of foreign-sponsored organizations is ensured by the state’s access to their accounts and official declarations, while the law on lobbying and criminal liability for espionage create a framework against undue foreign interference. The organization also notes that on the initiative of government agencies, an official open-source portal of eAIMS exists, which is a tool for collecting, analyzing, and reporting information on foreign aid.

“Today, there are legitimate questions about the fact that the bill will damage democratic processes and contribute to the discrediting of organizations funded by Georgia’s strategic partners by granting them the status of “agents”; this will be detrimental to democratic processes. This, in turn, will hurt the inflow of foreign investment into Georgia and the country’s economy as a whole,” – notes “Women for Tomorrow.”

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


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