[GE] : Transparency of foreign influence bill table again

IRIS 2024-5:1/16

Andrei Richter

Comenius University (Bratislava)

Following a failure to adopt the bill "On transparency of foreign influence" in March 2023 (see IRIS 2023-4:1/30 ), on 14 May 2024, the Parliament of Georgia adopted, in the third and final reading, a slightly amended version of the draft law tabled by the ruling party “Georgian Dream” and supported by the Government. The draft replaced the term “agent of foreign influence” with “organisation pursuing the interests of a foreign power.” All other parts of the draft law remain unchanged. One of the four categories of such organisations, according to the draft law, is "a broadcaster with at least 20 percent of annual revenues (excluding advertising revenue) coming from a foreign power” (Art. 2).

In its statement regarding the bill, the Parliamentary Majority noted “that the draft law provides for a single requirement – that organisations receiving foreign funding publish their annual financial reports. Only financial sanctions are envisaged in cases violating the said requirement.”

The bill supposedly targets foreign funding of “radicalism and so-called polarisation in Georgia”. Its adoption by Parliament has already brought public protests in Tbilisi. On 18 May 2024 the President of Georgia vetoed the law, but it is expected that the veto will be overruled by the majority of the Parliament.

The Diplomatic Service of the European Union expressed its concerns regarding the draft law by saying that “[t]ransparency should not be used as an instrument to limit civil society’s capacity to operate freely.” It encouraged the political leaders in Georgia to adopt and implement reforms that are in line with the objective of joining the European Union.

The Prime Minister of Georgia noted in the context of the draft law that “transparency cannot be aimed against anyone, especially it cannot distinguish enemies from friends. Transparency is equally applicable to everyone - friends and foe, including subjects with or without integrity." He gave for example the Government of Georgia, which is fully transparent towards the public as it publishes "every Governmental Decree".



  • საქართველოს კანონი „უცხოური გავლენის გამჭვირვალობის შესახებ“
  • Law of Georgia "On transparency of foreign influence" (draft), No 07-3/433/10, tabled on 3 April 2024

  • Закон Грузии "О прозрачности иностранного влияния" (проект с пояснительной запиской)
  • Law of Georgia “On Transparency of Foreign Influence” (draft with explanatory note)

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IRIS 2023-4:1/30 [GE] : Transparency of Foreign Influence Bill Tabled

This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.