Ambassador Degnan's Remarks at Tbilisi Center of Architecture, Design, and Creative Industries & Domus Georgia
Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at Tbilisi Center of Architecture, Design and Creative Industries & Domus Georgia – “Futures- What Will Be Next?”
Question about the event
Ambassador Degnan: I’m delighted to be here this evening for Domus Georgia’s seminar on “Futures- What Will Be Next?” This is going to explore everything from artificial intelligence to sustainable architecture. And it’s brought together a number of different experts, but also some ambassadors to talk about these subjects. This is part of many efforts and workshops to help us focus on the future and get us more prepared to deal with what’s coming our way in the future. So I’m delighted to be here.
Question about lobbying documents
Ambassador Degnan: I haven’t seen those documents, but I think it is indicative of the Russian-style law that was voted down here in March, focused on NGOs, Georgian NGOs, working for Georgia’s best interests. The United States’ act is focused on lobbyists and law firms who are hired by outside sources to work with the benefit of those outside sources. So there’s quite a distinct difference between the US law and what was voted down here, the Russian-style law. And we see by looking at Russia, the impact of that style of a foreign agent’s law. It had a devastating effect on NGOs in Russia, most of whom have either closed or left. So again, the US law that is focused on transparency of law firms and lobbyists that are hired by foreigners to work for the foreigners’ interests, is quite different and provides transparency that’s useful here in Georgia. You already have substantial transparency on the work of donors, NGOs, working with Georgian NGOs for Georgia’s best interests. So they’re quite different situations.
Question about 2024 Georgian elections
Ambassador Degnan: I think they’re very important. They’re going to be very important, and I think it’s an opportunity for the Georgian public to come out and vote and make their voices heard in what is going to be an extremely important election. So I hope that voters will come out and make their voices for next October, a year from October. Thank you.