Georgia: EU, NATO condemn passing of ‘foreign agent’ law

Georgia: EU, NATO condemn passing of 'foreign agent' law
Georgia: EU, NATO condemn passing of 'foreign agent' law

Georgia’s government has drawn condemnation from the West following its passing of the controversial law. The law is seen by many as the result of Russian influence.

The European Union and NATO on Wednesday called for Georgia to rethink its course after its parliament passed the controversial “foreign agent” law on Tuesday.

The EU said that the law, which classifies organizations that receive more than 20% of funds from abroad as “foreign agents,” would hamper the country’s prospects of joining the bloc.

NATO also called it a “step in the wrong direction… away from European and Euro-Atlantic integration.”

EU warns Georgia over accession

“The adoption of this law negatively impacts Georgia’s progress on the EU path,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said in a statement.

“The choice on the way forward is in Georgia’s hands. We urge the Georgian authorities to withdraw the law.”

“The EU has clearly and repeatedly stated that the spirit and content of the law are not in line with EU core norms and values,” Borrell and Varhelyi said.

“Despite large protests and unequivocal calls by the international community, the Georgian government ruling majority adopted the law ‘on transparency of foreign influence’ in Parliament,” they added.

Georgia was given EU candidate status at the end of last year.

Heading away from Europe

A spokesperson for the NATO alliance, which includes most EU member states, as well as the US and Canada, warned that the law would pull Georgia away from Europe and the rest of the Western powers.

In a post on X, spokesperson Farah Dakhlalleh said the passing of the law “is a step in the wrong direction and takes Georgia further away from European and Euro-Atlantic integration. We urge Georgia to change course and to respect the right to peaceful protest.”

UN rights chief Volker Turk also condemned the law on Wednesday.

“Authorities and lawmakers have chosen to disregard the many warnings by human rights defenders and civil society organizations. The impacts on the rights to freedom of expression and association in Georgia unfortunately now risk being significant,” Turk said in the statement.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili was set to meet with leaders from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Iceland on Wednesday, all of whom were visiting the country.

Pro-EU Zourabichvili has come into conflict with the ruling Georgian Dream party over the law, pledging to veto it. However, the party has enough seats in parliament to overturn a veto.

Source: Dw

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