Georgia Passes Law on “Foreign Influence”

In recent days, there have been street protests against the law, just as last year when it was repealed

Georgia’s unicameral parliament has overwhelmingly approved the so-called bill on foreign agents in its third and final reading (83 in favor and 30 against).

The bill, proposed by the majority Georgian Dream party, will now be presented to President Salome Zurabishvili, who has already said she will veto it. However, her power is limited and can be overcome by further voting.

The Foreign Influence Transparency Act was already rejected last year after mass protests, which have been recurring in recent days and are heating up the political climate ahead of the next election that will be held in October 2024.

The bill that passed in Parliament contains a change from last year’s text: the wording “agent of foreign influence” has been replaced by “organization pursuing foreign interests.” Under this legislation, media outlets and organizations that receive at least 20% of their funds from abroad must register as “organizations pursuing the interests of foreign powers.” According to the opposition, this would violate democratic freedoms.