Rally against Georgia's Transparency Law continues
Rally against Georgia's Transparency Law continues

The Georgian Parliament adopted the Draft Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence with the first reading at Wednesday’s plenary sitting. Amid Altercations, several opposition MPs were ejected from the sitting. An independent MP, Grigol Vashadze quit the Parliament as “being an MP has no political sense and cannot be justified morally.”

Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze later that day said, “The parliamentary discussion confirmed once again that the opponents have no argument against the law; the law is European because it is based on one of the main European values, namely transparency and accountability.”

“Nothing can hamper the protection of state sovereignty and, accordingly, the final adoption of the law; towards Europe with dignity, transparency, and sovereignty; this is our motto and spirit, we believe that with transparency and sovereignty, we can become the EU member; towards Europe with dignity,” the PM asserted.

According to Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili, “We should not follow anybody’s calls blindly but should guide with the country’s interests. Georgia and Georgian people are European. What is good for Georgian people is good for the European future.”

EU Ambassador to Georgia Paweł Herczyński believes if adopted, the law “will not help” in moving Georgia closer to EU membership.

“On the contrary, it will be a complication as this law is clearly not consistent with European Union norms and European Union values,” Herczyński asserted.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel believes the draft Law “is not consistent with Georgia’s EU aspiration and its accession trajectory.”

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili claims “Insistence of the authorities to push through this law against the will of the population and despite partners protest is a direct provocation.”

The protest against the draft law kicked off on Monday, resulting in the detention of 14 individuals under the Code of Administrative Offences. Four law enforcement officers were injured during the rally.

The protesters also made insulting remarks toward the TV IMEDI film crew and attacked journalist Giorgi Abazadze. On Wednesday, the protesters demanded the POSTV film crew leave the rally, chanting ‘go,’ ‘go’ at them.

Following the incident, TV IMEDI called on the diplomatic missions accredited in Georgia “not to remain silent in the face of the ongoing large-scale attack and well-organized campaign against the TV IMEDI journalists”.

After 12 am, midnight, the demonstrants relocated to the government chancellery demanding meeting with the PM.

More to follow.


The amendments provide for the registration of non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entities and media as “the organizations pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if a certain amount of their income, over 20 percent, is received from abroad.

According to the bill, everyone who is considered an “organization pursuing the interests of a foreign power” must be mandatorily registered in the state registry under the same name, reflecting the income at the registration moment.

At the same time, the amendments oblige the organizations to fill out a financial declaration annually. The bill provides the Ministry of Justice with the authority to execute research and study-monitoring of the issue at any time to identify “an organization pursuing the interests of a foreign power.”

According to the draft, a decision of the relevant authorized person of the Ministry of Justice and a written application submitted to the Ministry of Justice, which “contains the relevant certificate regarding a specific organization pursuing the interests of a foreign power” will serve as the basis for starting monitoring.

As outlined in the draft, an authorized person of the Ministry of Justice and a written application submitted to the Ministry of Justice that consists of a suggestion regarding a specific organization pursuing foreign power interests are required to initiate monitoring. An authorized person of the Ministry of Justice has the right, per the law, to request the necessary information, including personal information, for monitoring. Monitoring of the same entity will be allowed only once every six months.

Failure to register as an “organization pursuing the interests of a foreign power” or oversight to fill out a declaration entails a fine of GEL 25 thousand. The draft also outlines the following types of penalties: GEL 10 thousand if the organization does not fill out the application within ten working days of accessing the Ministry of Justice website. An unresolved flaw in the documents within the set timeframe will result in a fine of GEL 10 thousand; a statutory offence committed after one month will result in a fine of GEL 20 thousand.