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European Parliament Draft Resolution Raises Concerns Over Georgian Draft Law

By Liza Mchedlidze
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Members of the European Parliament have voiced strong opposition to a draft law proposed by Georgia's ruling party Georgian Dream. The draft resolution, initiated by MEPs including Miriam Lexmann, Michael Gahler, Rasa Jukneviciene, David McAllister, Andrius Kubilius, among others, highlights serious concerns regarding the proposed legislation.

The resolution notes that the draft law bears similarities to legislation adopted in the Russian Federation in 2012, sparking fears among MEPs about its potential impact on Georgia's democratic trajectory. According to the authors of the resolution, the adoption of this law could not only thwart Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations but also undermine the activities of independent civil society organizations and media outlets.

Key points raised in the draft resolution include:

Incompatibility with EU Values: MEPs express grave concerns about the reintroduction of the draft law, stating that it is incompatible with fundamental EU values and democratic principles. They highlight that the legislation violates specific steps outlined in the Commission's recommendation on Georgia's candidate status.

Damage to Georgia's Pro-European Path: MEPs express alarm over the adoption of a law resembling Russian-style legislation, fearing that it could significantly damage Georgia's pro-European path. They believe that the reintroduction of the draft law contradicts previous commitments made by Georgian authorities, thereby jeopardizing Georgia's reputation and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Undermining Independent NGOs and Media: The proposed law is feared to undermine the vital work of independent NGOs and media outlets, which play a crucial role in scrutinizing and monitoring governmental activities. MEPs warn that its adoption could weaken the system of checks and balances in Georgia.

Contradiction to Georgian Aspirations: MEPs assert that the proposed legislation goes against the aspirations of the Georgian people, who strive for a prosperous and corruption-free society that respects political freedom, free media, and human rights. They stand in solidarity with the people of Georgia who are protesting against the draft law.

Calls for Sanctions and Conditional Aid: MEPs propose sanctions against members of the Georgian Parliament who support the law, along with the leader of the Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili. They also call for financial assistance to Georgia to be contingent on the removal of the law from the legal order.

Monitoring and Reporting: MEPs suggest preparing reports on the implementation of steps related to Georgia's candidacy status more frequently to mitigate potential negative effects.

Appeal to Withdraw the Law: MEPs appeal to the Georgian Dream party to refrain from further pursuing the adoption of the law and to withdraw it to safeguard Georgia's European future.

Resolution Forwarding: The President of the European Parliament is instructed to communicate the resolution to various EU bodies, Member States, and international organizations, as well as to the government and parliament of Georgia, to ensure widespread awareness and consideration of the Parliament's stance on the issue.

The draft resolution underscores the European Parliament's commitment to upholding democratic values and principles and its vigilance in safeguarding the interests and aspirations of the Georgian people.