OSCE PA leaders meet with Georgian Prime Minister to discuss controversial draft law on foreign influence



080524 georgia call photoCOPENHAGEN, 9 May 2024 – On Wednesday, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Pia Kauma (Finland), Special Representative on South Caucasus Kari Henriksen (Norway) and Secretary General Roberto Montella held an online meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, to discuss the Draft Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence currently being considered by the Georgian Parliament.

President Kauma noted the public reactions and widespread protests against the bill, both domestically and internationally, as well as the deepening polarization within Georgian society. She highlighted the concerns raised by OSCE PA members and other international organizations regarding the potential impact of the draft law on Georgian civil society.

The Prime Minister described the intent of the legislation and provided an overview of the context in Georgia, saying that in recent years foreign-funded organizations had participated in destabilizing the Georgian political system, which in his view has led to the necessity of enhancing transparency in foreign funding. He assured the PA President, Special Representative and Secretary General that there is no attempt to restrict activities of any NGOs and that the proposed legislation is geared solely towards promoting transparency.

Special Representative Henriksen highlighted the potential impact that the law could have on the work of civil society organizations and stressed the need to ensure that groups and individuals are not stigmatized. She expressed appreciation for the willingness of the Prime Minister to engage in open dialogue about improving the legislation, ensuring that Georgia remains firm on its democratic trajectory.

Secretary General Montella also thanked Prime Minister Kobakhidze for his openness and stressed the importance of ensuring that the discussion on Georgia’s proposed law is based on facts and not misinformation. The meeting with the Prime Minister was an effort to promote due diligence in fully understanding the situation, Secretary General Montella said.

In this regard, it is also important to consider a wide range of views and expert opinions on the legislation, the PA side said, and President Kauma urged Prime Minister Kobakhidze to utilize the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) review the current draft law. ODIHR, she said, has recognized expertise and a mandate in assessing legislation’s compliance with OSCE commitments and stands ready to provide its expert analysis.

The Prime Minister noted that the legislation is currently being reviewed by the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission). The Prime Minister also expressed his willingness to consider assistances by ODIHR on this issue.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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