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President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Lauri Hussar and the Speakers of the parliaments of six European countries sent a joint letter to their Georgian counterpart, where they urged him to withdraw the law on Transparency of Foreign Influence that is incompatible with European norms and values, to engage in a dialogue with citizens, to discontinue the use of violence and intimidation against the peaceful demonstrators, and to continue to pursue EU membership.

The Speakers of the Parliaments of the Baltic States, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands and Poland stated in the letter sent to Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Shalva Papuashvili that the law on Transparency of Foreign Influence, adopted by Georgia’s parliament, sought to silence media and civil society organizations that played a vital role in a democratic society and were instrumental in helping Georgia on its path to the EU.

“We urge you to withdraw this law and engage in a meaningful and inclusive dialogue with organized civil society and citizens. We also urge you to respect the fundamental values by upholding the rights of people to assembly and discontinue the use of violence and intimidation against the peaceful demonstrators,” the Speakers said in the letter.

They pointed out that they had been with Georgia every step of its EU integration progress. “We have seen remarkable political transformation and enormous efforts you invested in the reform progress in the previous years. You have led the way and set an example for other aspirants to follow. We have proudly supported you and are committed to continue providing all the necessary assistance you need to continue on this path,” the Speakers said, and underlined that Georgia’s European aspirations and efforts had been rightly recognized by the European Union member states, and that Georgia had been given a clear path to start accession negotiations.

According to the Speakers, recent decisions by Georgia are a matter of concern for them since they run contrary to those values and principles Georgia has committed to be guided by and that are at the core of its European aspirations. “The decision to pursue EU membership is a sovereign choice of Georgia and its people as it was for those of us who joined the EU 20 years ago. That path was neither guaranteed, nor easy. Unwavering commitment and support of friends made it possible,” they said.

In the letter, the Speakers from seven countries expressed hope that Georgia would not waver in its commitment to using the historic window of opportunity to bring Georgia’s people into the common area of peace, and prosperity, but also freedoms, and values. “We believe in Georgia’s European future and are committed to supporting you,” they emphasised.

The President of the Riigikogu added that the joint letter was necessary in order to point out to the leaders of Georgia clearly and unambiguously that they were moving away from the path to Europe. “I very much hope that the Parliament of Georgia will understand this criticism, withdraw the law that is contrary to the European values and continue its efforts towards EU membership,” Hussar said.

Text of the joint letter in Estonian and in English

Riigikogu Press Service
Karin Kangro
+372 631 6356, +372 520 0323
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]

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