Georgia’s EU Aspirations Aren’t Out of the Woods Yet

Georgia’s EU Aspirations Aren’t Out of the Woods Yet
Protesters wave a Georgian flag and an EU flag as they rally against a draft law aimed at curbing the influence of "foreign agents" near the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, March 9, 2023 (AP photo by Zurab Tsertsvadze).

Last month, thousands of people took to the streets of Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, to protest against a bill that would require nongovernmental organizations and media outlets that receive more than 20 percent of their annual revenue from overseas to register as “foreign agents.” The so-called foreign influence bill, proposed by the country’s ruling Georgian Dream party immediately drew outrage from domestic rights groups, who argued that it would restrict media freedom and jeopardize Georgia’s aspirations of joining the European Union.

After several days of violent, large-scale protests, Georgian legislators announced that they would withdraw the bill from further consideration. But the divisive issues raised by the proposed legislation will nevertheless remain salient and could further complicate Georgia’s efforts at European integration.

Just last March, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili submitted the country’s application for EU membership, against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In June, however, the EU stopped short of granting Tbilisi candidate status, acknowledging Georgia’s “European perspective,” but setting out a list of 12 key reforms it would first need to implement. Since then, Tbilisi has taken several steps to do so, including the procedures for choosing an ombudsman, though the EU and local NGOs have pushed for speeding up the process.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review