The EU is preparing its own version of the law on "foreign funding", Politico reports , citing three sources. The law will oblige non-governmental groups, consulting and academic institutions to disclose information about any funding outside the EU "as part of the suppression of foreign influence in the bloc," the publication said.
It is reported that the law will be similar to those adopted in Australia and the United States. In the United States, since 1938, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) has required lobbyists working on behalf of foreign governments to register with the federal government. Representatives of foreign governments, political parties that promote the interests of their "principals" must register there as foreign agents.
According to a European Commission official who asked to remain anonymous, the law is "unlikely to affect" individual individuals, but will force both commercial and non-profit organizations within the bloc to disclose funding outside the EU. For example, it could be academic tuition fees.
Critics of the law say it is being drafted at a very "inconvenient time" amid protests in Georgia over its "foreign agents" law. Recall that the European Union came out with a categorical criticism of the Georgian law, which was an attempt to tighten state control on the Russian model.
“Obviously, this is a delicate issue,” said the representative of the European Commission. “We are still in the early stages of collecting information from a wide range of stakeholders to make sure we are taking the right approach.”
According to Politico sources, the development of the law will be completed in May. Questionnaires have already been sent out to a number of NGOs demanding to disclose sources of funding. For example, the head of the policy and advocacy department of Transparency International, Nick Ayossa, participated in the oral survey. “The leading questions suggested that they were assessing whether Transparency International posed a threat to democracy,” he said.
Also, critics of the law suggest that in some European countries the law will be used in the interests of politicians. For example, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, known for warm relations with Vladimir Putin, can use this law to suppress pro-democracy forces in his country.