Shalva Papuashvili sends letter to Venice Commission President

As Georgia progresses on the European Union membership path, we are determined to closely work with our international partners to ensure that there is a fine balance between legitimate goals of transparency and security on the one hand and rights and freedoms of civil society on the other, - reads a letter sent by Speaker of Parliament of Georgia Shalva Papuashvili to Venice Commission President Bazy Malaurie.

In the letter, Papuashvili provides information to the Venice Commission President about the so-called foreign agents draft laws and asks the Venice Commission to prepare a legal opinion on them.

“Your Excellency, as Georgia continues to navigate through changing complex regional security environment, new issues start to emerge and become pressing for state authorities to address. Higher standards of transparency and accountability from all stakeholders as well as taking security concerns more seriously are crucial to tackle them effectively.

In this regard, the Parliament of Georgia has decided to introduce new regulations for non-profit organizations (NPOs) operating in Georgia. Two draft laws were proposed in the Parliament - on the "Transparency of Foreign Influence" and on the "Registration of Foreign Agents." Draft laws aim to ensure at least minimum transparency and accountability of NPOs including when it comes foreign funding.

As Georgia progresses on the European Union membership path, we are determined to closely work with our international partners to ensure that there is a fine balance between legitimate goals of transparency and security on the one hand and rights and freedoms of civil society on the other. Hereby, in the spirit of our decades-long partnership, I would like to ask for the legal opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft laws attached to this letter.

Madam Presiden! we are looking forward to our cooperation on this matter”, reads the letter.

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