Eurasian Program

Since 1997, the ICNL Alliance has worked to foster an enabling legal and fiscal environment for civil society throughout Eurasia.

Country-specific activities are tailored to meet the needs of civil society in every country we work in: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Our activities include providing technical assistance to civil society and government representatives, increasing the capacity of local partners, and bolstering the legal literacy of civil society organizations. We also support cross-border activities that give local civil society representatives and lawyers the opportunity to exchange perspectives with colleagues from other countries.

Highlights

Overview of Georgia’s Foreign Influence Law

On May 14, 2024, the Georgian parliament adopted the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence (hereinafter “the Law”). The Law requires non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entities (NNLEs) and media organizations to register and submit information to be included in a special registry of “implementing organizations of foreign power interests” (IOFPs) to be maintained by the Ministry of Justice (the MoJ). The MoJ obtains a broad power to inspect the activities of all NNLEs, media organizations and, possibly, other entities, to ensure compliance with the Law. Although the President of Georgia vetoed the Law on May 18, 2024, the Georgian parliament has the power to overturn the veto. If the parliament overturns the veto, the Law’s provisions will apply to NNLEs and media organizations after 60 days of its official publication.

2024 Georgia Draft Law on Foreign Influence Transparency

On April 3, 2024, the Georgian Dream party registered in the parliament the draft Law of Georgia on Foreign Influence Transparency (“the Georgian draft law”). The Georgian draft law is identical to the draft Law of Georgia on Transparency of Foreign Influence #07–3/293; 14.02.2023 that was withdrawn from parliament following mass protests against it by a broad cross-section of Georgians in March 2023. The only notable difference is the replacement of the term ““agents of foreign influence” with the term “implementer organization of foreign power’s interest.” Read a briefer of the new draft law here, and find a full analysis of a similar 2023 draft law here.

draft law of Georgia on transparency of foreign influence photo credit Amanda Anderson - Concert Hall & Presidential Palace Tbilisi Georgia

2023 Draft Law of Georgia on Transparency of Foreign Influence

The February 2023 Draft Law of Georgia on Transparency of Foreign Influence, which is nearly identical to the draft law introduced in April, drew profound concern from international and Georgian organizations, as well as sparked mass protests against the bill. If it had passed, it would have substantially weaken civil society and independent media, which are crucial to preserving democracy in Georgia. At the request of local partners, ICNL and ECNL prepared an analysis of the draft law’s compliance with international law and European standards. Our analysis shows that many of the draft law provisions did not comply with Georgia’s obligations under international law or EU standards. Find the full analysis here or a summary of our findings here.

Ala Too Square Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic, on a very sunny, cloudless day. There are fountains and a large Kyrgyz flag on a tall flagpole billowing. (Photo: Emil Akhmatbekov)

Analysis of the Kyrgyz Republic Law on Foreign Representatives

The Law on Amending the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on Noncommercial Organizations (Law on “Foreign Representatives”), signed by President Japarov on April 2, 2024, establishes new burdensome requirements for noncommercial organizations (NCOs). Among other provisions, the Law provides state authorities with the right to interfere in an organization’s internal affairs, forces NCOs that receive foreign funding and engage in broadly defined “political activity” to complete a special “foreign representative” registration; and requires INGOs to work in Kyrgyzstan through a registered branch/representative office. Read the full analysis here.

kazakhstan, photo credit Nozim Nurillaev via Unsplash

Legislative Overview for Financial Sustainability for Civil Society in Central Asia

This Overview highlights the legislative opportunities and constraints affecting the financial sustainability of civil society organizations. It also offers a comparative approach, allowing readers to use examples from several countries and apply them to their practice. Moreover, the Overview provides information that can be used to improve civil society-related legislation across the region and is meant to be particularly useful for specialists, civil society representatives, government agencies, and parliamentarians. Find the full analysis here (in Russian)  or in English here.

kazakhstan, photo credit Nozim Nurillaev via Unsplash

ПРАВОВАЯ БАЗА ДЛЯ ФИНАНСОВОЙ УСТОЙЧИВОСТИ НКО В СТРАНАХ ЦЕНТРАЛЬНОЙ АЗИИ

Настоящий Обзор ознакомит читателя с возможностями и ограничениями в законодательстве, которые влияют на финансовую устойчивость НКО. Представленный в Обзоре сравнительный анализ позволит читателю познакомиться с опытом других стран и использовать этот опыт в своей практике. Обзор также поможет читателям в дальнейшем совершенствовании правовой среды, которая бы способствовала финансовой устойчивости НКО, и будет полезен специалистам, представителям НКО и государственных органов, парламентариям, которые стремятся совершенствовать законодательство для НКО в своих странах.