EU wants Georgia to repeal just-passed controversial law


This article was last updated on May 15, 2024

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EU wants Georgia to repeal just-passed controversial law

The European Union has called on Georgia to repeal its controversial ‘foreign agents’ law. According to this new law, organizations that receive more than 20 percent of their financing from abroad must register as a ‘foreign agent’.

The law was finally adopted by parliament yesterday, with 84 votes in favor and 30 votes against. The government says the law is needed to stop “harmful foreign actors” trying to destabilize politics in Georgia. Opponents fear that the law will lead Georgia to focus more on Russia and less on the EU.

The EU now warns that the law undermines Georgia’s plans to join the partnership. “The adoption of this law has a negative impact on Georgia’s progress on the EU path,” said a statement from EU foreign affairs chief Borrell and Enlargement Commissioner Várhelyi.

“The choice for the future lies in Georgia’s hands. We urge the Georgian authorities to repeal the law.”

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili is at odds with the ruling Georgian Dream party and has vowed to veto the law. But the ruling party has a majority and can override that.

Massive protests

In recent weeks there have been many demonstrations against the law. Yesterday, thousands of protesters occupied an important intersection in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. They met at Heldenplein, an intersection where traffic from different neighborhoods converges.

According to the police, thirteen demonstrators were arrested. One of them has serious cuts and bruises to the head, Georgian media report.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of Georgians took to the streets out of dissatisfaction with the law. “No Russian shadow over the future of Georgia,” read one of the many protest signs, held aloft by a young woman. Other signs read: “No to Russian laws” and “No to Russia, yes to Europe.”

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