Parliament official says criticism of transparency bill endangering EU integration “incomprehensible”

She noted discussions of similar legislation within the European Union. Photo: Parliament of Georgia, 17 Apr 2024 - 11:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Maka Botchorishvili, the Chair of the European Integration Committee of the Georgian Parliament, on Wednesday said it was “absolutely incomprehensible how transparency can endanger the country's integration” into the European Union.

Botchorishvili was commenting on public protests over the ruling party's reintroduction of a bill on transparency of foreign influence, which calls for registration of non-commercial legal entities and media outlets in the country as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they derive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad.

She noted discussions of similar legislation within the European Union.

The same issues are being discussed in the European Union, and EU member states also consider guarantees of safety of their citizens to be important”, she said.

Botchorishvili on Tuesday said access to information was a “legitimate right of citizens”, in response to criticism from some member states of the European Union and domestic opposition over the reintroduction of the controversial bill.

She claimed the domestic opposition had “repeatedly demonstrated that they are not interested in participating” in this year's parliamentary elections, adding latest approval ratings meant the parties had “lost all hope” and were “looking to revolutionary scenarios for success” instead.