A few explanations added to the U.S. state, foreign operations and related programs appropriations bill with regard to Georgia.
The Committee directs the Secretary of State and the USAID Administrator to prioritize programs aimed at strengthening the rule of law and democratic institutions to promote transparency and good governance.
“Ongoing threats by the Russian government underscore the importance of continuing United States foreign assistance to former communist countries, including Georgia, in their continued efforts in areas of democracy and the rule of law. Pursuant to subsection (a)(2), 15 percent of the funds made available under Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia for direct assistance to the central Government of Georgia may not be obligated until the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such government is taking effective steps to strengthen democratic institutions, combat corruption and ensure that the rule of law in the private sector is consistent with international recognized standards. The Committee notes and applauds the adoption of constitutional amendments to establish a proportional representation system on June 29, 2020, enacted as a result of an agreement among a majority of Georgian political parties.
The Secretary shall, in making the determination with respect to whether the Government of Georgia is taking effective steps to strengthen democratic institutions in Georgia, consider whether such government is: (1) effectively implementing electoral reform; (2) respecting the independence of the judiciary, including from legislative or executive interference; (3) effectively implementing the necessary policies to ensure accountability and transparency, including unfettered access to public information; (4) protecting the rights of civil society, opposition political parties, and the independence of the media; and (5) limiting the informal influence of oligarchs over functions of government and the application of laws and regulations”, - reads the document.