Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

The European Union has suspended the integration process of Georgia

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jul10,2024

The European Union has suspended the integration process of Georgia

Photo: Pavel Gerchinsky

The European Union has suspended the integration process of Georgia. This was stated by EU Ambassador to Georgia Pavel Gerchinsky, speaking at an international conference on the expansion of the European Union in Tbilisi.

According to him, the intentions of the current Georgian government are not clear to the leaders of the European Union. Gerchinsky called the law “On Transparency of Foreign Influence” a step back from the country's other achievements on its way to the European Union.

“Also, anti-Western, anti-European rhetoric is completely incompatible with the declared goal of joining the European Union,” – added Gerchinsky, calling the suspension of Georgia's European integration “sad and heartbreaking.”

According to the ambassador, the European Union has already frozen 30 million euros allocated to support Georgia's defense– and “this is just the first step.” Gerchinsky expressed hope that work on Georgia’s accession to the EU will resume after the country’s parliamentary elections, which will be held in October 2024.

Georgia received EU candidate status in December 2023. A few months later, the ruling Georgian Dream party reintroduced to parliament the bill “On Transparency of Foreign Influence,” which critics call an analogue of the Russian law on “foreign agents.” The opposition opposed the bill; protests by thousands took place in the country for several months; Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili vetoed the bill. “Georgian Dream” overcame the veto – the law came into force in June.

The EU countries and the USA called on the Georgian authorities not to accept the bill. After the adoption of the document, several EU countries proposed to abolish the visa-free regime for Georgian citizens, and the United States introduced sanctions against those “responsible for undermining democracy.” in the country.

Law "On Transparency of Foreign Influence" obliges media and NGOs that receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register as organizations “promoting the interests of a foreign power.” The vast majority of Georgian online media and NGOs working primarily with Western foundations fall under this requirement.

The authors of the bill insist that the document is needed to increase transparency in the non-profit sector and does not contain repressive measures. They claim that they borrowed the norms of American, not Russian legislation.

The opposition believes that the bill will legitimize repression against civil society, lead to Georgia turning away from the West and “absorption” of Georgia. its Russia.

Prepared by: Sergey Daga

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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