What Has The United States Done for Georgia Lately?

Joseph Larsen*

Most observers expected U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s recent visit to Georgia to follow a tight script: Show up, reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, eat some khinkali and khachapuri, and leave.

For the most part, that’s what Pence did. However, he took things further by reaffirming the outcome of the 2008 Bucharest Summit, when the U.S. and its NATO allies pledged that Georgia and Ukraine “will become members of NATO.” Pence said the following:

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Popular Oligarchy: Why the Public Still Supports Georgian Dream

Bidzina Lebanidze*

Recent public surveys have confirmed a paradoxical trend in Georgian political life: despite pressing problems, political blunders, and a troubling socio-economic situation, the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party remains the most popular political force in Georgia. It has been almost five years now since GD first came to power, and its list of achievements remains quite short. (more…)

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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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