Georgia: Lawmakers pass ‘foreign agent’ law in first reading


Georgia: Lawmakers pass ‘foreign agent’ law in first reading

Georgia Passes Controversial ‘Foreign Agent’ Law in First Reading

Thousands of protesters gathered in Tbilisi to oppose a proposed media bill that would require organizations receiving over 20% of their funding from abroad to register as under foreign influence.

Quick Facts

  • The proposed law in Georgia would require media and non-commercial organizations to register as being under foreign influence if they receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad.
  • The bill passed its first reading in parliament with 83 votes by members of the ruling Georgian Dream party, while opposition parliamentarians boycotted the vote.
  • EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell expressed concern, stating that the law is not in line with EU core norms and values and could negatively impact Georgia’s progress on its EU path.

The proposed law, denounced as the “Russian law,” has drawn criticism for its similarities to legislation used by Moscow to suppress criticism of the Kremlin. The bill’s passage has sparked widespread protests and condemnation from both domestic and international observers.

Opponents fear that the legislation, if adopted, could impede Georgia’s European path and limit the freedom of expression, as well as unfairly stigmatize organizations that contribute to the well-being of Georgian citizens. The bill’s resemblance to a previous proposal, which was withdrawn following significant public outcry, has only intensified the controversy surrounding its potential enactment.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has condemned the move, highlighting the negative impact the legislation could have on Georgia’s EU membership aspirations and its vibrant civil society. The bill’s passage has raised concerns about the future of media and civil society organizations in the country, with many fearing a significant restriction on their ability to operate freely.

The situation in Georgia continues to evolve, with the proposed law drawing both domestic and international attention as it progresses through the legislative process.


Leave a Comment