Baltic, Czech, Dutch, Polish, and French parliament speakers urge Georgia to repeal recently adopted “foreign agent” law


Speakers of the parliaments of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, and France call on Georgia to withdraw the recently adopted “foreign agent” law. The parliament speakers sent a joint letter to Shalva Papuashvili, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, underlining that the spirit and the content of the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence, adopted by the Georgian Parliament, are incompatible with European norms and values. The idea to call on Georgia to repeal the controversial law arose last week in Riga during the meeting of Daiga Mieriņa, Speaker of the Saeima, and Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament.

In the letter, the parliament speakers underline that the law as it stands seeks to silence media and civil society organisations that play a vital role in a democratic society and are instrumental in helping Georgia on its path to the European Union (EU): “We urge you to withdraw this law and engage in a meaningful and inclusive dialogue with organised civil society and citizens. We also urge you to respect the fundamental values by upholding the rights of people to assembly and discontinue the use of violence and intimidation against the peaceful demonstrators.”

The authors of the letter are concerned about Georgia’s recent decisions, since the country’s actions run contrary to the values and principles that it committed to observe and that are at the core of its European aspirations.

We have been with Georgia every step of its EU integration progress. We have seen remarkable political transformation and enormous efforts invested in the reform progress in the previous years. Most recently Georgia was given a clear path to start accession negotiations, underline the parliament speakers.

We truly value the strength of our partnership that we have built over the years. It has allowed us to have a frank dialogue even on issues where we disagree. On the most important issues of values and principles we were always united, state the authors of the joint letter.

The parliament speakers emphasise that the decision to pursue EU membership is a sovereign choice of Georgia and its people¾a path that is difficult, but possible through unwavering commitment and the support of friends.

“We truly hope Georgia does not waver in its commitment to using the historic window of opportunity to bring Georgia’s people into the common area of peace and prosperity, but also freedoms and values. We believe in Georgia’s European future and are committed to supporting you,” the parliamentarians stress in the letter.

The signatories to the letter are Daiga Mieriņa, Speaker of the Saeima; Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania; Lauri Hussar, President of the Riigikogu of Estonia; Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, and Miloš Vystrčil, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic; Martin Bosma, Chairman of the House of Representatives of the States General of the Netherlands; Szymon Hołownia, Marshal of the Sejm, and Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, Marshal of the Senate of Poland; and Yaël Braun-Pivet, President of the National Assembly of France.

Joint letter Georgia

Saeima Press Service

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