German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, on Friday said accepting criticism and meeting critical remarks were “strength not weakness”, in reference to the foreign agents bill that was recalled by the ruling Georgian Dream party earlier this month following mass protests.
"We have to respect this decision, it is criticism from our own society, as well as certain instructions from outside. This is not a weakness, it is a promotion of strengthening on the road to the EU. I think all this underlines how much the people of Georgia want to join the bloc”, said the German official.
She noted Georgia had demonstrated “great progress” on its European path over the years.
"I would like to emphasize that Georgia has experienced great progress over the past years. What is the state of Georgia?! Russian military units are on the territory of Georgia. That is why I am going to the administrative boundary line. We have been observing with great respect the steps of the Georgian government over the past years and also its clear position towards the Russian aggressive war", said Baerbock.
In her meeting with domestic NGOs, the FM highlighted the importance of “joint efforts” for the implementation of the 12-point conditions outlined by the EU in June to grant Georgia its membership candidate status later this year.
The foreign transparency bill proposed by former members of the ruling Georgian Dream party who still remain in the parliamentary majority, envisaged the registration of domestic NGOs and media organizations as foreign agents if they obtained more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad.
The bill was widely condemned by the international community as a “Rusia law”, expected to restrict the organizations’ activities.