Georgian parliament passes controversial bill on foreign influence – EU is considering response options | News Fin

In Georgia, the House on Tuesday approved the controversial Foreign Influence Act by a vote of 84-4. The law requires media and non-governmental organizations that receive more than one-fifth of their funding from outside Georgia to register as promoters of foreign interests.

President Salome Jurapishvili left the bill approved by parliament unconfirmed the other week because she deemed it un-Russian and unconstitutional. However, Parliament was able to override the President’s veto with a simple majority.

It was earlier thought that the President’s decision would only be a symbolic gesture delaying the implementation of the law.

A similar law is in place in Russia, which is why opponents of the Georgian bill dubbed the government’s proposal the “Russian law.” According to opponents of the proposal, the law is aimed at silencing dissent and aims to bring Georgia back into Russia’s sphere of influence. According to the ruling party, the law promotes transparency of funding and is therefore necessary.

Sorry EU

EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said in a statement released after the vote In his statement, the Union deeply regrets the decision of the Parliament of Georgia. Borrell pointed out in the statement that the EU has repeatedly stressed that this law is against the fundamental principles and values ​​of the EU.

The EU and its member states are considering all options to respond to the situation, the report said.

Borrell has previously said the law would have a negative impact on Georgia’s bid to join the European Union. The EU was previously supposed to issue a statement opposing the legislation as a joint statement by EU member states, but this was abandoned due to opposition from Hungary and Slovakia, according to diplomatic sources. Due to opposition, the opinion of the European Union was published at the time as the opinion of Borel.

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And, for example, the United States and the military alliance NATO have called on Georgia to back down on passing the law. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Dürk called the law “very unfortunate”.

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