Polling Wars in Georgia: Can it undermine public trust?

Expert Comment #13 | October, 2020

In democracies, opinion polls are a vital tool which offers politicians, parties, legislators and policy-makers a unique glance at the views and preferences of the public. In recent months, the Georgian public has been bombarded with the results of various opinion polls. In addition to polls conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which have long provided the Georgian public and political actors with such data, a number of TV stations and political parties have decided to launch, and publish, the results of their own public opinion surveys. (more…)


What Are the Political Perspectives for Non-liberal Groups in Georgia?

Expert Comment #12 | June, 2020

Possible political success of non-liberal groups with nationalist sentiments poses new challenges to important issues such as rule of law, minority rights, and Euro-Atlantic foreign policy orientation of the country. Given the context of fragile democratization of Georgia, such tendency is more noteworthy. (more…)


The Rise of National-Populism: Implications for Georgian Democracy

Expert Comment #11 | June, 2020

Over the past decade, populist right-wing extremist groups have become increasingly vocal and visible in Georgia. Some of these groups exist as informal actors on social media, while others are formally registered as political parties, NGOs or media organizations. Although these groups differ in a number of ways, their common denominator is their ethno-religious focus, and anti-globalization, anti-liberal, anti-immigration and Eurosceptic sentiments. (more…)


Election of the dialogue-minded Bzhania – nothing new or turning point in Abkhaz-Georgian relations?

Expert Comment #10| May, 2020

On March 22, 2020, opposition candidate and former chief of the Abkhaz security service Aslan Bzhania won the so-called ‘snap presidential elections’ in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia. The elections constitute the culmination of months-long political turmoil characterized by heated street protests, the alleged poisoning of Aslan Bzhania, the resignation of Putin-favorite Raul Khajimba and heavy Russian involvement in the process. (more…)


What does the veto on opening talks with Albania and North Macedonia mean for the European aspirations of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine?

Expert Comment #9 | November, 2019

On October 15, EU ministers failed to agree to start the talks that could lead to Albania and North Macedonia joining the EU. While a handful of countries opposed the process with respect to Albania, only France vetoed opening talks with North Macedonia. After the meeting, France found itself in the spotlight as the only country that vetoed starting talks with both countries. The day after the meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron referred to the system for accepting new members as “bizarre” and called for reforming the procedure. (more…)


Would temporary suspension of NATO’s Article 5 over Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region eliminate Russia’s de facto veto on Georgia’s North-Atlantic aspirations?

Expert Comment #8 / October 2019

On September 10, while attending the 5th Annual Tbilisi International Conference organized by the McCain Institute and Economic Policy Research Center, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that the Georgian government (more…)


What are the chances that the EU visa suspension mechanism will be used against Georgia?

Expert Comment

Following the introduction of the EU’s visa free regime with Georgia, certain EU member states have expressed their concerns that Georgian citizens are misusing it. France, Austria, Germany and Sweden in particular have reported an increased number of violations (a higher number of unfounded asylum applications) since Georgia received visa-free status.


Russian-Georgian WTO agreement and its implications for Georgian-Russian relations

Expert Comment

In 2011, Russia and Georgia signed an agreement on the Basic Principles for a Mechanism of Customs Administration and Monitoring of Trade in Goods. The agreement facilitated Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization. Based on the agreement, Georgia and Russia, in 2017 and 2018 respectively, signed separate contracts with a neutral private company (SGS). The contracts established the groundwork for the practical implementation of the agreement.


How Should Georgia Respond to Russia’s Borderization?

What tools are available for Georgia to respond to Russia’s borderization of the administrative boundary lines demarcating Abkhazia and South Ossetia? What is the most appropriate and effective response for Georgia to take?

On July 3, Russian soldiers moved the barbed wire fence demarcating the breakaway region of South Ossetia roughly 700 feet further into Georgian territory. That was only the most recent instance of a now commonplace practice. (more…)


What should be Georgia’s next goal after Visa liberalization?

Georgia has signed the Association Agreement and achieved visa liberalization with the European Union (EU), obtaining the two main “carrots” made available by the EU through the Eastern Partnership format. In light of that, what should be Georgia’s next (realistic and concrete) foreign policy goal?