While the Kremlin is celebrating the anti-democratic tendencies and recent proposal of the law “On transparency of foreign influence” adopted by the Georgian Parlament, the EU and the US are deeply worried. Such a law would enable the suppression of civic organizations and media, which serve as pillars of every democracy. During the last two years, with great sadness, we have witnessed the revised path of Georgia’s democracy. Now is the time to act fast and decisively. But what makes me and many people optimistic are the massive democratic and pro-EU protests which erupted across this great state.
Unfortunately, recent developments are deeply concerning. The Republic of Georgia, which declared its independence from the Soviet Union only a generation ago, has worked very hard to become a young and promising democracy. However, it must still take some essential steps. The EU has, on numerous occasions, helped in bridging the division between the ruling party and the opposition, supporting much-needed reforms. Still, the geopolitical situation is even more complex with war raging in Ukraine, considering that Russia also invaded Georgia and occupied its territories fifteen years ago. Besides the occupation, Russia is using coercive tactics to reverse Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic foreign policy aspirations. Moscow has deployed hybrid tools with the aim of discrediting the West among the Georgian public, spreading disinformation, so-called “borderization,” and supporting radical nationalist and pro-Kremlin groups.
The law “On transparency of foreign influence” will seriously endanger civil society in Georgia, which contributes to the development of democracy. European democracy is a model for young people, especially those born in the last three decades.
Georgians are on the street, proving that they deserve democracy. The EU, with its partners, has to step in, help them, protect them, and secure funds and know-how for faster reforms. The international community should immediately use every available tool to ensure Georgia’s Government and parliament give up on this anti-democratic law. The Kremlin can’t win.