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Lithuanian Seimas Urges EU Institutions for Responsive Measures on Georgia's 'Foreign Agents' Law

By Liza Mchedlidze
Thursday, May 23, 2024
The resolution adopted by the Seimas of Lithuania concerning Georgia's integration into the EU focuses on the concerns surrounding Georgia's "Foreign Agents" law.

Expressing deep concern, the resolution highlighted the adoption of Georgia's "Transparency of Foreign Influence" law, likening it to Russia's "Foreign Agents Law" and deeming it incompatible with European values.

Regretting the divergence of Georgia's government actions from the aspirations of its society and integration goals with the EU and NATO, the Seimas extended support to Georgians defending freedom of expression and their European future. It strongly condemned violence against peaceful protesters and journalists, as well as campaigns against civil society.

The Seimas called for the withdrawal of the law, the preservation of freedom of association and expression, engagement with civil society, and adherence to commitments for EU and NATO integration.

Furthermore, the resolution urged EU institutions to consider responsive measures if Georgia proceeds with the law and continues to persecute civil society. It also expressed regret that the actions of the Georgian authorities do not align with the aspirations and goals of Georgian society for integration into the European Union and NATO.

The Seimas resolution supports the Georgian people in their defense of freedom of expression and the country's European future.

The resolution expresses "support for the Georgian people in their defense of the right to freely express their civic position and their country's European future;

strongly condemns the use of violence against peaceful protesters and against journalists reporting on the demonstrations, as well as the organised campaign of defamation, intimidation, and direct physical violence against representatives of civil society, emphasising that such actions aimed at suppressing peaceful assemblies and freedom of expression are unacceptable, particularly in an EU candidate country;

reminds that the Georgian government ruling majority will have to take responsibility for actions violating the principles of a democratic society and inconsistent with the political criteria set for EU candidate countries;

calls on the Parliament of Georgia to withdraw the adopted law "on transparency of foreign influence", to ensure freedom of association and freedom of expression, to foster the country's civil society, to engage in dialogue with it, and to uphold the constitutional commitment of further pursuing integration into the EU and NATO and continuing necessary reforms;

urges the EU institutions to consider the possibility of responsive measures if the Georgian government rejects President Salome Zourabichvili's veto, proceeds with implementing this law, and continues the persecution of civil society," the resolution reads.