What Is Written in the Resolution of the European Parliament about the Russian Law, the Visa-Free Regime and Ivanishvili


The European Parliament adopted the draft resolution on the Russian law with both amendments. The project of the joint resolution states that the negotiations for Georgia’s accession to the European Union should not be opened until the Russian law is part of the country’s legal order. In addition, the European Parliament calls on the European Commission to prepare an intermediate assessment regarding the implementation of 9 steps by Georgia.

Two amendments were included in the resolution that was supported today. The amendments call for the imposition of sanctions on Bidzina Ivanishvili, the assessment of the compliance of Russian law with visa liberalization criteria, the withdrawal of the homophobic constitutional bill and the release of Mikheil Saakashvili.

“The draft law is proposed at a time of increasing attacks against civil society and independent media in Georgia; Also, against the support of democracy from the international donors, the purpose of which is to narrow the civil space and silence critical voices in the public sphere. This draft law is the last in a series of pre-election legislative and other initiatives of the Georgian government, which also includes constitutional amendments to combat “LGBT propaganda” and the abolition of gender quotas by the parliament, which threatens democratic reforms and promotes the spread of misinformation about the European Union, its values ​​and policies”, is said in the resolution project.

The resolution states that the European Parliament:

  1. Strongly condemns the re-introduction of the controversial draft law on ‘transparency of foreign influence’ which would impose debilitating restrictions on civil society and independent media and thereby undermine the possibility of their operating freely, and has therefore been met with massive protests by the Georgian public, civil society organisations, independent media, prominent public figures and the country’s European and international partners alike;
  2. Underlines that the draft law is incompatible with EU values and democratic principles, runs against Georgia’s ambitions for EU membership, damages Georgia’s international reputation and endangers the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration;
  3. Stresses that EU accession negotiations should not be opened as long as this law is part of Georgia’s legal order;
  4. Urges, therefore, the Georgian Parliament to halt the parliamentary proceedings leading to adoption of the law and urges the Georgian Government to honour the commitments it made in March 2023 when it announced that it would unconditionally withdraw its draft law to impose restrictions on civil society and independent media and would not propose such a law again; calls on the Government of Georgia also to abstain from submitting any further legislative proposals that contradict the principles of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms and which would therefore run counter to the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership;
  5. Highlights that the draft law betrays the aspirations of the large majority of the Georgian people to live in a democratic society, continue democratic and rule of law reforms, pursue close cooperation with Euro-Atlantic partners and commit to a path towards EU membership;
  6. Emphasises that the rights to freedom of expression and assembly and to peaceful protest are fundamental freedoms and must be respected under all circumstances, particularly in a country aspiring to join the EU;
  7. Urges the Georgian Government to respect Georgian citizens’ constitutional rights and therefore expresses its concern about reports of riot police using disproportionate force to disperse protesters demonstrating against the controversial draft law; calls on the Georgian authorities to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the unlawful and disproportionate use of force;
  8. Underlines that the public watchdog role exercised by civil society and independent media is essential to a democratic society and crucial in advancing EU accession-related reforms and therefore calls on the Georgian authorities to do their utmost to guarantee an enabling environment in which civil society and independent media can thrive;
  9. Denounces the fact that the Georgian Government is taking inspiration from highly controversial similar Russian legislation, such as Russia’s ‘Foreign Agents Law’, which intentionally labels and discriminates against civil society organisations and activists and has also been used to stifle opposition to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and silence any remaining critical voices in the country;
  10. Recalls that the European Council of 14 and 15 December 2023 granted Georgia candidate status on the understanding that the relevant steps set out in the Commission recommendation of 8 November 2023 would be taken; stresses that this recommendation called on Georgia to ensure that civil society was able to operate freely and to fight disinformation against the EU and its values, and that the draft law violates both objectives;
  11. Reminds the Georgian Government of the commitments it made and the values and principles it subscribed to when it applied for EU membership and calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement and the President of the Commission to do the same;
  12. Invites the Commission to submit an interim assessment of Georgia’s progress related to the implementation of the nine steps indicated in the Commission recommendation of 8 November 2023;
  13. 13.Calls on the Commission and the Member States to assess the impact of this draft law on the EU’s role as a donor in Georgia and to communicate clearly to the Georgian Government and Parliament about this possible impact and its consequences for EU funding in general;
  14. Urges the Georgian Government to return to its European path, uphold its commitment to respect, strengthen and promote democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and genuinely engage in the full implementation of the steps required to fulfil the conditions for candidate status and EU membership, in a spirit of engagement and cooperation with Georgia’s civil society and political opposition;
  15. Reiterates its unwavering support for the Georgian people’s legitimate European aspirations and their wish to live in a prosperous country, free from corruption, that fully respects fundamental freedoms, protects human rights and guarantees an open society and independent media; underlines that the decision to grant Georgia EU candidate status was motivated by the wish to acknowledge the achievements and democratic efforts of Georgia’s civil society as well as the overwhelming support for EU accession among its citizens;
  16. Calls for an impartial and independent long-term international election observation mission by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to monitor the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections in October 2024;

According to the First Amendment:

  • The European Parliament deplores the personal role of Georgia’s only oligarch, Bidzina Ivanishvili, in the current political crisis and yet another attempt to undermine the country’s Westward course in favor of turning to Russia. He returned to active politics on December 30, 2023 and became the “Honorary Chairman” of the Georgian Dream Party. The European Parliament reiterates its call to the Council and the EU’s democratic partners to consider personal sanctions against Ivanishvili for his role in the deterioration of Georgia’s political process and for his activities against the interests of his own people;
  • Repeats the call to the Georgian authorities to release former President Mikheil Saakashvili on humanitarian grounds and allow him to receive appropriate medical care abroad; Emphasizes that his case shows the importance of the reform to be implemented in the judicial system.

According to the Second Amendment:

  • Calls on the Commission to immediately assess the impact of the planned “Foreign Agents” law in Georgia on Georgia’s fulfillment of visa liberalization criteria, specifically in terms of fundamental rights criteria, which is an essential component of the EU’s visa liberalization policy;
  • Calls on the majority of “Georgian Dream” to withdraw the submitted constitutional amendments, which refer to LGBTQ+ rights and are an attack not only on the LGBTQ community, but also on freedom of expression and a free civil sector;
  • Repeats the call to the Georgian authorities to release President Saakashvili on humanitarian grounds and to allow him to receive appropriate medical assistance abroad; Emphasizes that his case shows the importance of the reform to be implemented in the judicial system.