Women for Tomorrow urges Georgian Parliament not to approve the Foreign Agents Bill


The business federation Women for Tomorrow corresponds to the discussion process of the Foreign Agents Bill by the Georgian Parliament.

We, as the business association, consider it necessary to state our position: on the one hand, we see the controversial nature of the bill, and on the other hand, the events which are taking place around the draft law became the cause of serious confrontation in the country. All of these deepen the polarisation in the society and has a negative effect on Georgia’s path towards EU membership - the last of which is the confirmed desire of Georgian people and is the acknowledged goal by the Constitution of Georgia.   

In recent days, we have seen the statements of Georgia's strategic partners, who go against the adoption of the draft law and warn Georgia about the potential risks. EU officials have repeatedly stated that this document opposes the EU’s fundamental principles and thus disagrees with Georgia’s Constitution. More specifically 78th article commits the constitutional bodies to “take all measures within the scope of their competences to ensure the full integration of Georgia into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization”.

Besides the existing questions about the bill's alignment with the constitution, it is crucial to have clear definitions as to what is the aim of the Foreign Agents Bill. According to initiators, the main goal of new regulations is the transparency of the organization’s work and finances, which are funded by foreign entities. The stated goal raises additional questions since the authority has an access to non-governmental organization’s revenues and expenses based on bank accounts and official declarations. Secondly, Georgia has already implemented a law regarding lobbying, while the Criminal Code and other judicial documents manage spying issues.

Aside from these, with the initiative of the governmental institutions, the official site has been created: the Aid Information Management System - eAIMS, which represents the instrument for collecting information about foreign support, analysis and accounts. The website enables us obtain information about every donor, funding type, and project.

Today there are legitimate questions that the draft law will harm the democratic processes. Labeling the organizations financed by Georgia’s strategic partners as "foreign agents" will discredit their image. In turn, this will negatively affect Georgia's foreign investments and the country's economy. 

Considering existing and potential risks, the business federation Women for Tomorrow urges the Parliament of Georgia not to approve the Foreign Agents Bill.