Georgia: second attempt at passing law against "foreign agents"

Mass protests have been taking place in Georgia against the adoption of a "foreign agent" law targeting institutions that receive funding from abroad. In March 2023, protests against a similar bill ultimately led to its withdrawal. Commentators discuss the motives behind the legislation and point out parallels with Russia.

Ukrajinska Prawda (UA) /

Even willing to jeopardise EU ties

The Georgian Dream party which has ruled the country for many years is under pressure now, observes Ukrainska Pravda:

“The most common explanation is that the law, which makes control over the public sector and independent media possible, is being used to secure victory in the parliamentary elections on 26 October. For the first time, these elections will be held without the single-mandate constituencies in which the ruling party has always won. That is why it will be more difficult for Georgian Dream to win this time round. ... Retaining power (it should be remembered that Georgian Dream has been in power for almost 12 years) is the party’s key objective. And it is prepared to sacrifice even its ties to the EU to achieve this.”

Jurij Pantschenko
Ekaterina Kotrikadze (RU) /

It sounded harmless at first

Exiled TV-Rain journalist Ekaterina Kotrikadze warns on Facebook:

“Thanks to the Russian experience, people in Georgia understand very well where a ‘law on foreign agents’ leads and what it is needed for. Let me briefly recapitulate: The Russian state had promised us, too, that nothing terrible would happen, that the law would merely ensure ‘transparency’ and not prevent anyone from working or living in Russia. ... There is not a single major independent media outlet or international human rights organisation left in Russia today. That was the aim of the Russian authorities when they claimed that the law on foreign agents was just a trifling matter.”

Katerina Kotrikadze