The statement of the Media Advocacy Coalition regarding the Amendments to the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting

Media Advocacy Coalition believes that part of the amendments to the Georgian Law on Broadcasting contain risks of restricting freedom of expression and is likely to deteriorate the media environment in Georgia.

On September 7, 2022, the MPs representing the ruling party, Georgian Dream, registered the draft Law on Broadcasting in connection with the amendments to the law of Georgia, which became known to the wider public on September 13. It should be noted that the committee reviews of the voluminous and content-varied draft law is scheduled for September 19 of the same year.

As the basis of these changes, the authors of the bill name bringing the
Georgian legislation into compliance with EU Directive on Audio-Visual Media Services.

Media Advocacy Coalition considers it important to fulfill the obligation defined by the EU Association Agreement. However, at the same time, the Coalition believes it is essential that implementation of  the EU legislation aiming at improving the general media environment in the country.

The registered bill provides, among other things, for the immediate enforcement of the commission's legal acts, regardless of whether they have been challenged in court.

The coalition believes that given the practice of sanctioning critical media outlets by the Communications Commission, the risk of harm caused by the immediate enforcement of politically biased decisions against critical media, might increase significantly.

It is noteworthy that there is no notice of the requirement in the EU Directive. Moreover, the Venice Commission, in its conclusive statement published on March 22, 2021 regarding the Amendments to the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications indicated that the  judicial appeal of the act of appointment of a temporary administrator should lead to an automatic suspension of the validity of this act, and after that the court should consider whether it is necessary to immediately implement or suspend the
decision at hand. The conclusive statement shows that the Venice Commission had taken the general situation as well as the context of justice in the state into careful consideration.


Coalition considers the introduction of a right of reply as well as the regulation of hate speech and terrorism-inciting broadcasting and advertising as highly problematic. Both points refer to the transfer of issues included in content self-regulation to that of general regulation.

The coalition maintains that the commission's intervention in the content creates risks of limiting the freedom of expression and believes that the Parliament should adopt the draft law notwithstanding the issues related to content regulation. A working group should be assembled to discuss effective regulatory mechanisms that will not endanger the freedom of expression.

The coalition calls on the Parliament to follow the recommendations of the European Union and to make the overall process inclusive.