For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Statement by Administrator Samantha Power

For over three decades, the United States has stood by the Georgian people as they built their democracy, and we will continue to stand with them as partners and friends. We are extremely concerned that the introduction of the Transparency of Foreign Influence bill – based on last year’s draft “foreign agents legislation” – threatens Georgia’s democratic trajectory.

This legislation, which has passed its first reading, faces widespread opposition from Georgia’s citizens, and has raised serious concerns among independent legal analysts as well as Georgia’s democratic allies. It also jeopardizes Georgia’s path toward European integration, which the Georgian government, people, and civil society organizations have fought so hard for – resulting in Georgia’s historic achievement in December 2023 of EU candidate status. As noted by Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, this legislation “will bring Georgia further away from the EU and not closer.”

A designation as an organization “carrying out the interests of a foreign power” falsely stigmatizes Georgia’s vibrant civil society and independent media and will make it harder for civil society to deliver needed services for the Georgian people, such as providing legal aid to Georgians in need and helping Georgians to find good-paying jobs. And as we have seen in other countries, this legislation would likely force organizations that have long served the Georgian people to close – undercutting hard-won progress and potentially imperiling USAID’s ability to support core shared development objectives.

Samantha Power
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