Over the past few years, there has been a notable trend toward democratic backsliding in Georgia. Previously recognized as one of the most democratic leaning states that emerged from the rubble of the Soviet Union, domestic political battles have elicited some non-democratic practices.

Once clearly on track toward a Western orientation, the Georgian government’s response to Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine one year ago has wavered. Sadly, the ruling coalition in Georgia’s parliament is now attempting to pass a “foreign agent law” directly modelled on the same infamous law in Russia. The proposed law would require organizations that receive more than 20% of their funding from overseas as “foreign agents.”

The international friends of Georgia have expressed consternation in recent years over Tbilisi’s democratic backsliding, evidenced perhaps most importantly when the European Union offered EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, but not Georgia, in 2022. All of this raises questions about the direction Georgia is headed.

What does the proposed legislation mean for Georgia and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations? How can the US and other Western partners respond? The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center hosts a discussion on what this proposed bill would mean for Georgia future.

A conversation with

Michael Hikari Cecire
Senior Policy Advisor
US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Amb. Daniel Fried
Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow
Atlantic Council

Amb. Shota Gvineria
Nonresident Fellow
Economic Policy Research Center

David Kramer
Executive Director
George W. Bush Institute

Laura Linderman
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Eurasia Center
Atlantic Council

Moderated by

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The Eurasia Center’s mission is to promote policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.