European MPs сall for Georgia's EU сandidate suspension

Protests in Georgia
Protests in Georgia

Over 30 European Parliament members urge EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, to halt Georgia's EU candidate status, according to SOVA.

The MEPs stated that the ongoing undemocratic actions of Georgian authorities, including their forceful implementation of a 'Russian-style' law on foreign agents and suppression of peaceful protests, have exceeded acceptable boundaries. This conduct has escalated tensions and divisions within Georgian politics and society.

Read also: Unidentified men attack protesters in Tbilisi during rally against ‘foreign agent bill’

They asserted that the actions of the Georgian government are at odds with the nine steps outlined by the European Commission and "must no longer be overlooked.

Read also: Ukraine should take a closer look at what’s going on in Georgia — opinion

The document said a strong stance and specific measures to be taken, signaling the Georgian authorities. It emphasized that the actions of the Georgian authorities and the ruling party, Georgian Dream, are inconsistent with the responsibilities of an EU candidate country. Therefore, Georgia's candidate status should be suspended, with no further advancement in the accession process."

The MEPs said the need to reassess EU funding for Georgia's state budget and government initiatives.

They requested an immediate interim evaluation of Georgia's advancement in fulfilling the nine steps outlined in the European Commission's recommendation of November 8, 2023. They affirmed their backing for the Georgian people and their desire to join the EU, stressing that the democratic standards for all EU candidate nations are uniform and must be upheld.

The "foreign agents" bill and protests in Georgia

The “foreign agents” bill and protests in Georgia

Massive protests erupted in Georgia on April 9 after Mamuka Mdinaradze, leader of the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority, announced plans to reintroduce a bill on 'foreign agents,' similar to Russia's law. Security forces dispersed demonstrators in Tbilisi on April 16.

The Georgian legislature passed the bill in its initial reading on April 17. It mandates the registration of non-profit entities and media receiving over 20% of their funding from abroad as 'organizations acting in the interests of a foreign state.' The bill requires three votes for final approval in parliament."

Read also: Georgia’s worries on Russian influence go beyond foreign agents law, states Salome Zourabichvili

Georgian PM Kobakhidze, on April 18, stated the 'foreign agents' bill aims to protect against 'Ukrainization.' The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry countered, saying the real threat to Georgia is Russification, not 'mystical Ukrainization,' warning derogatory use of Ukraine harms ties.

On the same day, European Parliament members expressed concerns that Georgia's 'foreign agents' bill could undermine its Euro-Atlantic integration.

On April 25, the European Parliament passing a resolution on Georgia's foreign influence transparency bill, raising doubts on the country's EU accession talks while the law is in effect.

Clashes erupted between police and protesters near the Georgian parliament on April 30. President Zourabichvili urged an end to the protest dispersal in Tbilisi and held the government responsible for the unrest.

On May 1, the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that police had detained 60 demonstrators, charging them with hooliganism and disobeying lawful police orders. Six law enforcement officers were injured during the clashes.

The Interior Ministry announced later that day that police had arrested 60 demonstrators, charging them with hooliganism and disobeying lawful police orders. Six police officers sustained injuries during the clashes.

Also on May 1, the Georgian parliament approved the 'foreign agents' bill in its second reading.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine