The New Eastern Partnership – what’s in it for Georgia?

Tinatin Akhvlediani[1]

On 18 March, the European Commission released a new Communication on the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Beyond 2020. This was followed by an Association Implementation Report on Georgia published by the European Parliament in April, and the Council Conclusions on the new EaP policy framework in May. The outbreak of Covid-19 has overshadowed these important events to such an extent that these developments attracted little commentary in Georgia. (more…)

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How NATO can solve the “Georgian Challenge“and strengthen its own credibility

Shalva Dzebisashvili[1]

Since the debate on Georgia’s accession to NATO has somehow lost its actuality and slid down from the top of the agenda of many key nations, practical way forward must be reviewed carefully to relieve pressure on the Alliance, restore its credibility to fulfill promises, and motivate Georgia for better reform performance. The membership process has a clear dual nature, being both political and military ones. There is no need to dwell additionally on the general requirements of NATO membership, which is a well functioning democratic system and combat ready interoperable forces. We all know this very well. (more…)

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The Pandemic Effect: New Challenges in the face of the Upcoming Elections

Nino Samkharadze[1]

Rapid Spread of coronavirus infection has given rise to controversies over upcoming elections worldwide. After introducing strict countermeasures and a recent milder phase of the virus spread the topic of upcoming elections gains momentum in Georgia as well. Because of the ongoing intense political debates over the electoral reforms the voters will already have to cast votes in a changed environment in October 2020, however the special conditions caused by the virus add to the unique character of the upcoming elections. (more…)

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How EU & its members states respond to COVID-19 crisis: Challenges & Prospects for crisis management

Clara Weller[1]

As the Covid-19 crisis was reaching Europe, the EU struggled to take a common decision on its territory. Today, the Union learns from local-level solutions. Member states’ cooperation and regional organization display the high potential of deepening regionalization. When the sanitary crisis adds to the background of rising euroscepticism towards Brussels, the regionalized response endorses a relevant political meaning. Rethinking crisis management by a bottom-up approach should bring an efficient resilience for the EU. (more…)

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The Impact of Covid-19 Crisis on Georgian Politics: Risks and Opportunities

Givi Silagadze[1]

The new coronavirus pandemic, worldwide panic and counter-measures in response to the pandemic day by day transform  not only deep-rooted social relations but also political life. Similarly to Europe and many other countries of the world, Georgia also declared a nationwide state of emergency and introduced restrictions on numerous social or economic activities. In addition to social life and the Georgian economy, the coronavirus crisis has a significant impact on politics. (more…)

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Orthodox drama: Covid-19 vs. Dogma

Salome Kandelaki[1]

Due to the coronavirus outbreak the state of emergency has been announced in Georgia at 15:00, March 21, 2020. Among other restrictions, gathering of more than 10 people was banned.  According to the Constitution of Georgia and the Law on State of Emergency the restrictions have been placed on all and everything – including religious gatherings. However, after announcement of the government order, religious service in the Orthodox churches had still been served in crowded spaces, demonstrating the low levels of civic consciousness of the society as well as of the social responsibility of the religious institution, thus becoming a target of criticism by one part of the Georgian society. (more…)

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Follow the tiger: to survive Covid-19, Georgia should look to the East

Bidzina Lebanidze [1]

Georgia has been moderately successful in holding Covid-19 at bay and keeping case numbers low in the first 30 days since the outbreak.  In order to remain resilient against Covid-19 and keep the infection curve flat, the country will need to emulate the experience of Asian states, not European. It can remain a free and open society in the process, yet this endeavor will also require some substantial sacrifices. Georgia is among the few countries in the EU’s neighborhood that consistently looks to its European peers for policy guidance in its economic and political development. However, the EU and its member states have miserably mismanaged the initial phase of the outbreak of Covid-19. (more…)

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From “peaceful protests” to “manifestation of depravity”: How did the Georgian Dream present the June crisis to the public?

Levan Kakhishvili

In the context of democratization and democratic consolidation, internal political crises, caused by either external shocks or dynamics in the domestic arena, pose a significant challenge to the stability of the Georgian political system. Such crises can jeopardize not only internal order but also Georgia’s relations with external actors. However, one of the latest crises, the June 20 and the following protests, linked the external and internal dimensions of Georgian politics. (more…)

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A New Challenger to Georgia’s Bipolar Politics: Chances and Impediments

Givi Silagadze*

Georgia’s polarized political landscape has been shaken by a newcomer—Mamuka Khazaradze. His entrance to politics coupled with a promised transition from a mixed electoral system to a fully proportional one has generated a great deal of interest in Georgian society as well as in the media.  Experts and journalists, speculating on the possible political formations that could appear following the 2020 elections, are asking whether Mamuka Khazaradze’s forthcoming party will succeed in attracting votes and whether it will emerge as a viable alternative in Georgia’s bipolar politics. (more…)

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Gauging the effects of the Eastern Partnership: Democratization efforts in Georgia

Nikoloz Tokhvadze[1]

10 years ago, when the Polish-Swedish tandem initiated the Eastern Partnership (EaP), the expectations in the region were overly hopeful. Having leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan posing together on the podium and president Lukashenko on the guest list,[2] spelled brighter future on the EU’s freshly expended eastern frontiers.

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