Georgia: Statement by the Spokesperson on the draft law on “Transparency of Foreign Influence”

The announcement by the ruling party in Georgia to re-introduce a draft law on “Transparency of Foreign Influence” raises serious concerns. The EU recalls the public pledge of the Georgian government and the ruling party to “unconditionally withdraw” such legislation last year. The EU regrets that it is once again being considered despite strong public and international reactions in March 2023.

Creating and maintaining an enabling environment for civil society organisations and ensuring media freedom is at the core of democracy. It is also crucial to the EU accession process. The EU recalls that the European Council granted Georgia candidate status on the understanding that the relevant steps set out in the Commission recommendation of 8 November 2023 are taken. Step 9 includes a recommendation for Georgia to make sure that civil society can operate freely and Step 1 calls on Georgia to fight disinformation against the EU and its values. 

Transparency should not be used as an instrument to limit civil society’s capacity to operate freely. We encourage the political leaders in Georgia to adopt and implement reforms that are in line with the stated objective of joining the European Union, as supported by a large majority of Georgia’s citizens. The EU calls on Georgia to uphold its commitment to the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and human rights.