The DCFTA – A Chance for Georgia to Benefit from the EU’s Transformative Power?

Irakli Jgharkava*

The geopolitical shift resulting from the European Union’s Eastern Enlargement in 2004 led to the introduction of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), an ambitious program designed to enhance political and economic relationships between the EU and its eastern and southern neighbors. (more…)

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Facing the Problem of Georgian Criminality in the EU

Jelger Groeneveld*

For three months now Georgia has enjoyed visa-free travel to the European Union’s Schengen zone, a fact celebrated in Tbilisi as a major achievement of the country’s European integration ambitions. Since then, Georgian media sources have raved about the numbers of Georgians traveling to the EU. (more…)

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Preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit: The Prospect of Political Differentiation

Elene Panchulidze*

German Bundestag Resolution on the Eastern Partnership Countries

On June 28, 2017, the German Bundestag adopted a resolution on the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. The document emphasizes the EaP’s role as an important instrument for modernizing its participating states—Armenia, Azerbaijan, (more…)

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GIP Commentary: The Venice Commission Opinion on Georgia’s Constitutional Reforms

Joseph Larsen*

Shortly after winning a substantial majority in last year’s parliamentary elections, GD formed a 73-member Constitutional Reform Commission to prepare a new constitution—one that would transform the country from its current semi-presidential system to a full-fledged parliamentary republic. (more…)

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GIP Commentary: What Georgia Can Learn from Montenegro’s NATO Accession

Joseph Larsen and Mariam Grigalashvili

Montenegro became the newest member of NATO on June 5. It is the seventh enlargement in the history of the Alliance and the first since April 2009, when Albania and Croatia became full members. For Montenegro, the result has been a long time coming: (more…)

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GIP Commentary: Georgia’s Image Tarnished by Relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan

Mariam Grigalashvili and Joseph Larsen*

In international relations, image matters. This is especially true for small states such as Georgia. The country’s image has suffered since Afgan Mukhtarli, an Azerbaijani investigative journalist who moved to Georgia in 2015, went missing from Tbilisi on May 29. (more…)

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The Birth of a Centrist France? What Macron means for Georgia

Shota Gelovani*

On May 7, the supporters of European integration, free markets, and open borders celebrated Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the second round of the French presidential elections. Roughly 20 million French voters put their trust in the 39-year old political independent, refusing the far-right alternative for France, the National Front’s Marine Le Pen. (more…)

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Can the Association Agreement be Georgia’s Pathway into Europe?

Gvantsa Ichkiti*

The Georgia-European Union (EU) Association Agreement has been a major subject of discussion since being signed in 2014. The Association Agreement is a complex document that went into force in July 2016. At 752 pages long, full implementation of the agreement will take years. (more…)

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To Understand Constitutional Reform in Georgia, Look Beyond the President

Joseph Larsen*

The Georgian Dream (GD) government has made constitutional reform its highest priority since winning an overwhelming mandate in last October’s parliamentary elections. With 115 seats in a 150-seat parliament, GD has the supermajority necessary to amend Georgia’s constitution without the consent of any other party. (more…)

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Why Law Enforcement Matters for Georgia’s European Integration

Teona Surmava* 

Georgians gained the right to travel visa-free to the Schengen zone on March 28. That milestone had been a long-standing goal of Georgia’s government and society. Four years in the process, practical work toward visa liberalization started when the Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP) was presented to the government in 2013.

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