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Italy and Eastern Europe: A Dossier Subordinated to the Rome-Moscow Axis?

Nona Mikhelidze

Over the years, Italy’s foreign policy towards post-Soviet countries has developed in the framework of bilateral relations and in the context of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Italy welcomed the launch of the EaP in 2009, and since then has supported almost all EU initiatives under the project, including visa liberalization for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Moreover, official Rome favored launching the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia following the Georgian-Russian war of 2008.

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Italy’s Eastern Neighborhood Policy: Georgia in Context

Marco Siddi

Italy’s economic and diplomatic presence in the European Union’s Eastern neighborhood has increased since the 2000s. The expansion of trade and diplomatic contacts with Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries has complemented Italy’s long-standing relationship with Moscow, which continues to be important despite the current political crisis and economic sanctions imposed between Russia and the EU. (more…)

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Experts Predict Easy Victory for Ruling Party in Local Elections

GIP Expert Polls / Issue #5

The Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP) continues to survey engaged Georgian and international experts on issues of great importance. This October, GIP asked 30 experts and political observers about the imminent local self-government elections. The majority of surveyed pundits predict Georgian Dream winning by a big margin.

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Georgia-China Relations: the Geopolitics of the Belt And Road

Joseph Larsen

China has shown a growing interest in Georgia. Cooperation is largely confined to the economic sphere. However, a stronger Chinese presence in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative could have major geopolitical significance.

This paper analyzes the current state of bilateral relations while asking a key question: Does involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative have the potential to improve Georgia’s national security situation?

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German Elections 2017: Continuity at the Top, a Looming Disaster from Below

Silvia Stöber

“Boring” is a word often used to describe the ongoing election campaign in Germany. The campaign will conclude on September 24 when the citizens elect new members to the Bundestag. A new government will be formed according to the results.          

At first glance, not much exciting has happened in recent weeks. The two main contestants – the Christian Democrat Angela Merkel and the Social Democrat Martin Schulz – fought a duel on live television (more…)

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Deterring Russia’s Borderization of Georgia

Joseph Larsen

 In the 21st century we have seen a tendency toward blurring the lines between the states of war and peace.
Wars are no longer declared and, having begun, proceed according to an unfamiliar template
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– General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation

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What Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine Want From the Brussels Summit

Mariam Grigalashvili
Originally published in DELF The Lithuania Tribune

The European Union will hold the fifth Summit of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in Brussels on November 24. There, the leaders of EU member states will meet with counterparts from Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia and Belarus.

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The State of Georgian Democracy: Interview with Professor Charles Fairbanks

Interview by Joseph Larsen, GIP Analyst

“The greatest difficulty of attaining democracy in Georgia is the weakness of political parties.”

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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…)

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Anti-migrant Rhetoric in Georgia: Do Far-right Groups Threaten Georgia’s Pro-European Discourse?

Irakli Jgharkava*

Last month’s anti-migrant march in Tbilisi, baptized as the “national liberation movement”, marked an uptick in visible far-right sentiment in Georgia. The rally gathered around 2,000 people demanding the deportation of illegal immigrants and an overall toughening of the country’s immigration laws.  (more…)

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Can a Third Way Movement Emerge in Georgian Politics?

Givi Silagadze*

Georgia’s 2016 parliamentary elections were a major coup for the Georgian Dream party (GD), which won 115 of 150 seats (76.67%). It did so despite receiving the support of only 24.37% of voters, revealing two problems that continue to afflict Georgian party politics: a heavily majoritarian electoral system and an extremely weak political opposition. This policy memo is devoted to the second issue. (more…)

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US-Georgia Relations: Interview with Lincoln Mitchell

Interview by Joseph Larsen, GIP Analyst

 “On terms of security, Georgia’s best hope is still NATO and the United States. But now, whenever the president speaks about NATO, we now ask, is he going to affirm American support for Article 5?”

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