Georgia’s Accession To EU Is “Stopped” And Financial Aid Suspended After The Adoption Of The Putin-Style “Foreign Agents” Law

Georgia’s accession to the European Union has been officially “stopped”, according to the bloc’s ambassador to Tbilisi, Paweł Herczyński. At the same time, funds of 30 million euros, intended for the Ministry of Defense, were also frozen. Georgia protests over foreign agent law. The process of Georgia’s integration into the European Union has been suspended, the EU ambassador said. The decision was taken after the ruling Georgian Dream party passed the controversial “foreign agents” law in May, which mimics a number of provisions applied in Russia.
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Speaking on at an EU enlargement event in Tbilisi, the Brussels envoy, Paweł Herczyński, said that “unfortunately, the process of Georgia’s accession to the EU is stopped for the moment,” writes the politician.

The decision was taken since the end of June, when the European Union announced that it would reduce high-level relations with Georgia and that it would consider freezing financial aid.

According to Herczyński, the decision to freeze Georgia’s accession process will also lead to the suspension of financial assistance from the European Peace Facility. Sectors such as agriculture, winemaking and other key industries depend on support from the EU and US aid agencies.

“It is sad to see EU-Georgia relations at such a low point, when they could have been at a very high level,” Herczyński said, according to the quoted source.

The ambassador of the European Union in Tbilisi, Paweł Herczyński, also told journalists, at an event on July 9, that these are not the only measures that the bloc of 27 member states could adopt. The EU continues to monitor the situation and could take further decisions if “the situation deteriorates further”.

The envoy described the EU’s decision as a response to Georgian lawmakers’ adoption of the controversial “foreign agents” law, also known as the “transparency of foreign influence” law.

He also listed other steps taken by the current government in Tbilisi, which in his view, are anti-democratic.

The measure comes in the context in which the current ruling party, the Georgian Dream, adopted a law on “foreign agents”, which is said to favor the interests of Russia. The law also received a presidential veto, which the government overrode and adopted the new legislative provisions on May 28. The law sparked international controversy and criticism, and tens of thousands of Georgians took to the streets to stop its adoption.

The new law stipulates that organizations that receive at least 20 percent of their funding from abroad are considered to be pursuing the “interests of a foreign power,” and critics and legal experts say the legislation mirrors rules used by Russia to crush dissent and shut down groups in society. civil.

Herczyński said he hoped Tbilisi would reconsider some of its recent decisions after a new government is formed following parliamentary elections in October.

“I sincerely hope that on October 26, Georgians will make the right choice, and the future government, regardless of who wins the elections, will return very quickly and resume the hard work for Georgia’s accession to the European Union ,” emphasized Paweł Herczyński.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili described the EU’s move as “a response” to the “anti-European and anti-Western rhetoric and actions” of the government and the ruling Georgian Dream party.

“While this is a response to the ruling party’s reckless and hostile policy towards the EU, at the same time it is a warning to the public: our partners are telling us that ‘the choice is yours’ – either Georgia gets a secure European future, either they isolate themselves under the influence of Russia”, Zurabişvili declared.

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