Your Home Your story reservation Estonian Foreign Minister: Georgia loses chance to join the EU | News

Estonian Foreign Minister: Georgia loses chance to join the EU | News


Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) said on Wednesday that Georgia will lose its chance to join the European Union after passing the Foreign Influence Law this week. He said it is “extremely sad” to see the country reversing its democratic reforms.

Tsahkna visits Georgia together with the Latvian, Lithuanian and Icelandic foreign ministers following the approval of the Foreign Influence Law yesterday.

“The Foreign Influence Law passed yesterday by the Georgian parliament deprives Georgia of the opportunity to join the European Union,” Tsahkna said in a statement. “My colleagues and I share the view that the best guarantee for a democratic Georgia is membership of the European Union and yesterday’s political decision to adopt the bill takes them further away from the European Union.”

Discussions with officials focused on the Foreign Influence Act and the consequences arising from it, as well as European integration.

The Foreign Minister said that EU integration is a process based on specific steps, leading to visa freedom, free trade and ultimately the opportunity to join the EU.

“If you give up principles, you lose privileges. If human rights violations and repression occur, the European Union can also impose sanctions,” he said.

‘We have been supporting Georgia and its reforms – ranging from education to digital transformation – for decades, usually with the help of local NGOs. It is extremely sad to see a reversal of the democratic path and the government’s hostile rhetoric. The huge crowds that have been taking to the streets for more than a month now clearly demonstrate that the people of Georgia do not agree with the direction the government has taken,” Tsahkna said.

“Current events are not moving Georgia toward the future the Georgian people have chosen.”

Georgian, Baltic and Icelandic flag in Tbilisi. Source: M.F.A

Under the legislation, media and civil society groups in Georgia that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad will be required to register as “organizations serving the interests of a foreign power.”

It is similar to legislation introduced in Russia in 2012 that critics say has been used to silence critics.

The bill, which has been debated since mid-April 2024, drew harsh criticism from Georgia’s bilateral and international partners and led to some of the largest peaceful protests in the country in recent decades, Human Rights Watch said. There have been several credible reports of unjustified use of force by police to disperse them.

The president has said she will veto the bill, but the ruling party has enough numbers in parliament to override it, the Guardian reported.

Follow ERR News on Facebook and Tweet and never miss an update again!