The European Union has suspended the integration process of Georgia

Kostia Andreikovets

The Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Georgia Pavlo Herchynsky informed about the suspension of the process of Georgiaʼs accession to the EU.

The diplomat told journalists about this at the two-day international conference held in Tbilisi, Ekho Kavkazu and SOVA report.

All because of the law on "foreign agents" adopted by the Parliament of Georgia, which duplicates the Russian one. It forces the media and organizations with a share of foreign capital to report, and also gives the right to the Ministry of Justice to arrange inspections with subsequent fines. Also, the suspension of integration was influenced by the anti-Western and anti-European rhetoric of the Georgian authorities, which, according to Herchynskyi, is completely incompatible with the declared goal of joining the European Union.

For EU leaders, the intentions of the current government of Georgia are unclear today, the ambassador noted.

Herchynsky also noted that the European Union has frozen €30 million allocated to support the Georgian Defense Forces.

“Regarding security and defense cooperation, unfortunately we have to inform you that the [EU] leaders have also decided to freeze the money allocated to support the Georgian Defense Forces under the European Peace Fund (EPF) [...]. And this is only the first step, there will be other steps. Our direct aid to the government of Georgia will be reduced, and we will try to shift this direct aid to the government to civil society and the media. This was announced after the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs in Luxembourg," Herchynsky was quoted by SOVA.

Georgia applied to join the EU in March 2022 — just weeks after Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In December 2023, Georgia acquired the status of a candidate and had to start a series of reforms.

  • On April 8, 2024, the ruling party "Georgian Dream" registered a project on "foreign agents" in the parliament, and already on May 14, the Georgian parliament finally adopted this draft law, despite opposition resistance and mass protests in the capital with clashes. This document provides for the creation of a special register, which will list all non-commercial legal entities and mass media that are financed from abroad by more than 20%. They must publish an annual financial report — otherwise they will receive fines and inspections.
  • The USA and the European Union condemned the decision of the parliament. The EU stated that the adopted law effectively stops the integration of Georgia. The US informed about a "comprehensive review" of bilateral cooperation with Georgia due to the suppression of democratic freedoms.
  • On June 6, the United States imposed visa sanctions against those involved in the adoption of the law on "foreign agents" and the crackdown on protests in Georgia, and in July it postponed military exercises with the country.