European Democracy Youth Network (EDYN) members unequivocally condemn the bills „on transparency of foreign influence“ and „on registration of foreign agents“ initiated in the Parliament of Georgia.
For us, as a youth network based on European and transatlantic values, the European future and the prospect of joining the European Union are essential and unconditional. We believe that the proposed bills will immensely damage Georgia’s democratic development and European integration process.
Our numerous international partners have emphasized their clear position in this regard, and among them, representatives of the European Union have stated that the bills are not compatible with EU norms and values.
The bills contradict Article 78 of the Constitution of Georgia which obliges the constitutional bodies to „take all measures within the scope of their competencies to ensure the full integration of Georgia into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.“
The bills will interfere with youth and civic organizations’ activities and significantly limit the freedom of speech. Moreover, the bills are being discussed while Georgia is trying to fulfill 12 recommendations of the European Commission in order to obtain EU candidate status. The initiated bills directly contradict recommendations #7 and #10 regarding media freedom and civil society involvement in the decision-making process at all levels. Furthermore, the bills are similar to the 2012 Kremlin law that continues to undermine and harm civil society up to these days.
Based on the above, the members of the European Democracy Youth Network call on the Parliament of Georgia to revoke the initiated bills that jeopardize Georgia’s European future and the secure and unhindered operation of non-governmental organizations in Georgia.
Founded in December 2018, the European Democracy Youth Network (EDYN) aims at promoting democratic processes, reducing polarization, and empowering young people. More than 500 young leaders from 23 European countries are part of the EDYN network.