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Georgia: Approval of ‘foreign agents law’ threatens democratic progress and EU integration

On 14 May, the Georgian Parliament adopted the controversial law on 'foreign agents' by 84 votes against 30. The approval came amid mass month-long protests, condemnation from a large number of international organizations and despite fierce opposition from all of Georgia's western partners. Protesters are deemed to continue raising their voices as the President is now expected to veto the bill. Nonetheless, the Georgian Dream majority could easily override it.

The process of adoption of the law has been accompanied by an alarming increase in violence and government organized smear and intimidation campaigns, including on the Georgian Chapter of Transparency International, which is unacceptable and must be stopped.

Georgia became an EU candidate in December 2023. The approval of this law will stand in the way of its political integration into the EU and many believe it endangers bringing Georgia back under Russian influence.

François Valérian, Chair of Transparency International, said:

"The adoption of the Putin-style foreign agents’ law by the Georgian ruling party amid mass protests and international criticism is deplorable. The brutal crackdowns on protestors, including our chapter and its representatives, exemplify the fate of critical voices if the law becomes a reality. Corruption will thrive unchecked in such an environment.”