Largest protest in Georgia’s history – report from a graduate student at the Tertio Millennio Institute

Georgia is currently hosting the largest protests in the country’s modern history. Last Saturday the number may have approached 300,000 people. The demonstrations are still going on, and a participant in the events is Giorgi Labadze, last year’s graduate of the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society in Krakow. In this publication, he describes what the protesters, who are being subjected to police violence, are fighting for.


This is already the second consecutive year that the Georgian government, under cover transparency, has initiated Foreign Agents Registration Act, which is fairly called by the Georgian people and civil society, the Russian Law. This act is an equivalent of the act with the same purposes, implemented in Russia in 2012. In this piece, I’ll shortly try to describe why this law impacts negatively on Georgian society and its pro-European choice.

In the last 8-9 years, statistics show that about 75-80% of the Georgian population support the EU and integration in the EU institutions. In late 2023, Georgia officially got a candidate status of the EU. Last month, the Georgian National Football Team for the first time ever qualified for Euro 2024. And while the EU officially opened the accession negotiations to Bosnia and Herzegovina, looks like, Georgian might have been the next.

In this context the Georgian government, after last year’s false promises, initiated again this law either by its own will, or by the force of the Russian government. Both cases are also possible. What does this disputable Foreign Agents Registration Act say at all?

The law will require for the NGOs of every kind to register as foreign agents if they get more than 20% income as foreign aid. That means, almost every kind of Georgian Civil Society Organization, including media, educational institutions, charity organizations, environmental/agricultural associations, cultural organizations and so on, will have to register as foreign agents.

Georgians have a very negative experience of having this label from the past, when the Bolshevik government had forced to Georgians get the status of agent, if they were not favorable for comrade Stalin’s and Beria’s political taste. That’s why this is a big insult to the people who are doing a great job of constructing the Georgian national state and democracy. Plus, by this law the government gets non-proportional power to check activities and personal information of the organizations, which will meet the requirements of the law.

One of the big fails of this law is how we mention and label our allies, supporters and donors from the West. By this law, we call them a foreign principal, as if they are doing some dangerous and undermining stuff towards Georgia. It seems, the countries, which contributed billions of dollars and euros to Georgian infrastructure, individual rights, education, culture, are no longer our friends, but potential enemies,

Przekaż darowiznę Fundacja Instytut Tertio Millennio jest organizacją non-profit. Każdego roku wspieramy rozwój intelektualny setek młodych z całej Polski, w duchu nauczania św. Jana Pawła II. Dzięki Twojemu wsparciu możemy się rozwijać i realizować kolejne projekty, służące młodemu pokoleniu. Dziękujemy za każdą wpłatę i zachęcamy do regularnej pomocy!

The very essence of the law clarifies that the Georgian government wants to decline American and European influence in the country (that was directly declared by the general secretary of Georgian Dream Party), by which we are going to end up in the Russian backyard again, or locked up in isolation (which also ends up in the Russian backyard).

Of course, any parallel with American FARA, on which the Georgian Dream actively indicates during the process is total nonsense, as this latter is about the registration of lobbyist activities and political interests of a certain foreign country. In the meantime, the Russian Law covers every kind of registered organization, which operates in every kind of social area of the country.

All the interested parties who read the reactions of the Russian propaganda machine about this law would notice, that they are very much satisfied about what is happening in Georgia. Meanwhile, all the Western actors are warning that with this kind of legislation, we won’t be able to enter into the EU institutions.

In the end, the will of the Georgian people to integrate into the EU institutions is expressed in Article 78 of the constitution, which says “The constitutional bodies shall take all measures within the scope of their competencies to ensure the full integration of Georgia into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”

That means, the Georgian Dream party has totally reversed from the course chosen by the Georgian people and clearly violates the constitution, which is made by the consensus of the Georgians.


„Świat w witrażu” („The World in Stained Glass”) is a category of publications where we report on important contemporary social problems around the world and interpret them through the lens of the Church’s social teaching, proposing solutions. We are guided by a universal, prudent concern for the common good, transcending divisive worldviews.

Giorgi Labadze [ENG]
Giorgi Labadze [ENG]Graduate of the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society in 2023. Giorgi got a bachelor’s in Law in 2018. He also possesses an MA degree in American Studies and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies. Giorgi is lecturing at Tbilisi State University, and schooling at American International High School in Tbilisi, Georgia. Giorgi identifies himself as a conservative and is interested in the emergence of nationalism in Europe and in the United States. His prominent interests are politics and academy and he always expresses interest to create new networks for better cultural and political exchange through Eastern and Western Europe and the United States.