EDYN Statement on the situation in Georgia Standpoints

Published April 19, 2024

European Democracy Youth Network (EDYN) members unequivocally condemn the bills „on transparency of foreign influence“ and „on registration of foreign influence organization“ re-initiated in the Parliament of Georgia.

We strongly support EDYN Georgia and citizens of Georgia in your courage to stand against consistent and constant efforts by Georgia’s government to limit civic freedoms and fundamental human rights, by re-introducing the draft law on “Transparency of Foreign Influence”.

For us, as a one of the biggest youth network based on democracy, European and transatlantic values, creating, maintaining an enabling environment for civil society organisations and ensuring media freedom is at the core of democracy. We are deeply concerned to see that this law been re-initiated despite strong public protest and international reactions which led to withdrawn of law in March 2023. Moreover, this law is incompatible with European Commission’s 9-step recommendation of 8 November 2023, which should be completed by Georgia to further proceed with EU accession 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.“

Furthermore, the bills are similar to the 2012 Kremlin law that continues to undermine and harm civil society up to these days. We believe that the proposed bills will immensely damage Georgia’s democratic development and European integration process.

Even in the darkest times of history, the struggle for freedom has remained unwavering and steadfastly embedded within our societies. We stand with Georgia’s European Future and democratic development.

Based on the above, the members and Leadership Council 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) supports young pro-democracy activists, politicians, and journalists from across the political and ideological spectrum ages 18 to 32 in 23 countries. EDYN focuses on promoting democratic processes, reducing polarization, empowering and connecting more than 700 young leaders as a part of the network across the Europe.

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