Brussels (dpa) – European Commission and NATO officials on Wednesday criticised Georgia’s adoption of a law requiring foreign-funded organisations to register as “foreign agents.”

“The spirit and content of the law are not in line with EU core norms and values,” said a statement by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Várhelyi.

On Tuesday, Georgia’s parliament passed the controversial legislation despite angry protests in the country’s capital city Tbilisi and urging by the European Union and the United States not to adopt it.

Thousands of people once again took to the streets of the capital on Tuesday evening. One of their main concerns is that the law threatens Georgia’s path to EU membership. Many also fear that in the former Soviet republic – as in neighbouring Russia – critical organisations and media will be silenced.

“Despite large protests and unequivocal calls by the international community, the Georgian government ruling majority adopted the law ‘on transparency of foreign influence’ in parliament,” the statement by Borrell and Várhelyi said.

The two Commission officials also condemned attacks on Georgian activists and journalists. “The intimidation, threats and physical assaults on civil society representatives, political leaders and journalists, as well as their families is unacceptable. We call on the Georgian authorities to investigate these documented acts.”

NATO spokeswoman Farah Dakhlallah also wrote on X that the law’s passage “is a step in the wrong direction and takes Georgia further away from European and Euro-Atlantic integration. We urge Georgia to change course and to respect the right to peaceful protest.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed similar sentiments on Wednesday evening. At a press conference with Swiss President Viola Amherd, he referred to his meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze in Berlin in mid-April. Scholz said that he had clearly stated at the time that he considered this law to be a mistake and that it should not be passed. “Now that it has been passed, nothing has changed.” (15 May)

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