EU leaders call on Georgia to withdraw “Russian law”.

Abroad Protest in Tiflis

EU leaders call on Georgia to withdraw “Russian law”.

Despite mass protests – the law on “foreign influence” is to be passed

Despite the ongoing mass protests in Tbilisi, the Georgian government is sticking to the planned “foreign influence” law. As planned, the bill will pass the third reading in Parliament. Opponents fear the law will silence critical organizations.

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After the adoption of the “Russian law”, the pressure on the leadership of Georgia is increasing. Harsh criticism comes from Brussels. EU foreign policy chief Borrell said the adoption would “have a negative impact on Georgia’s progress towards the EU”.

NEU leaders have called on Tbilisi to withdraw the law, following the adoption of an internationally criticized law to curb foreign influence on civil society in Georgia. “The adoption of this law has a negative impact on Georgia’s progress towards the European Union,” Foreign Affairs Officer Joseph Borrell and Commissioner Oliver Warhely said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The decision is in Georgia’s hands going forward. “We call on the Georgian authorities to withdraw the law, maintain their commitment to EU accession and advance the necessary reforms outlined in the nine steps.”

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Georgia has been granted candidate status in the European Union since the end of last year. According to communications, EU countries granted Georgia this status on the condition that the country implement nine steps from a Commission recommendation. These include the protection of human rights and the free functioning of civil society and the media.

Thousands of people protested in Tbilisi

Despite weeks of mass protests, the ruling majority of the Georgian Dream party approved the law on Tuesday, which aims to limit foreign influence on non-governmental organizations. Accountability will be tightened for aid agencies and independent media that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad. Arguably, more transparency is needed.

Protest against controversial law in Georgia

Prove that 14. May in Tiflis

Source: dpa/Zurab Tsertsvadze

However, hundreds of thousands of opponents of the so-called “Russian law” fear it will silence critical organizations like the one in Russia. They see the former Soviet republic’s desired EU accession in jeopardy because of the Georgian Dream party’s authoritarian tendencies.

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After the law was passed in Parliament, mass protests followed from the people. According to media reports, thousands of people took to the streets again on Tuesday evening in the capital, Tbilisi.

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