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Compendium of Policy Briefs – May 2017

This publication contains five policy briefs, each including recommendations on key issues pertaining to Europeanization and democratization in Georgia: priorities for Georgia’s further integration into Euro-Atlantic structures; the development of stable political party platforms; relations between the state and the Georgian Orthodox Church; and the balance of power across branches of government. (more…)


The End of Direct Presidential Elections – The Constitutional Reform Process in Georgia

Tornike Zurabashvili

As part of the ongoing constitutional reform process, the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party (Georgian Dream) intends to abolish direct election of the president of Georgia, transferring voting power from the public to a college of electors (more…)


The Georgian Orthodox Church as a Civil Actor: Challenges and Capabilities

Salome Minesashvili

Religious organizations as civil actors with social capital can play significant roles in social reform processes, examples of which being the African Church in South Africa and representatives of the Catholic Church in Latin America. The Importance of churches as civil actors (more…)


Is Democracy Possible without Stable Political Parties?

Levan Kakhishvili

Strong political parties represent the cornerstone of consolidated democracies. Parties contend for office in elections. Therefore, a strong link between parties and voters is of primary importance to the success of elections. Strong and stable party-voter linkages ensure that democracy is stable, as voters are aware of what to expect from elected parties. (more…)


Georgia’s European Integration:What Comes After The Eastern Partnership?

Bidzina Lebanidze

This policy brief explores future avenues for EU-Georgia relations going beyond the Eastern Partnership (EaP) but short of full EU membership. Enlargement fatigue coupled with economic and migration crises and the resultant rise of far-right groups puts additional pressure on the EU’s relations with its Eastern Partners. (more…)


Visa Liberalization for Georgia: What’s Next?

Giorgi Vardishvili, Elene Panchulidze

On March 28, 2017 the visa-free regime for Georgian citizens to the Schengen Area officially entered into force. This was another historic decision on the road to Georgia’s homecoming, its final integration in the European family. The visa regime liberalization is the fruit of a (more…)


Georgia: Leaving the Soviet Legacy Behind

Mikheil Peradze

It’s now official. The European Union not only positively assessed the reforms (i.e., implementation of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan) applied by the Georgian parliament, but also positively concluded the visa-waiver program within the parameters of the European Council and the European Parliament.



France’s policies toward the Eastern Partnership countries in context

David Cadier

France’s strategic attention interest and diplomatic engagement in the Eastern neighborhood have increased significantly during the last decade. Of the two geographical areas covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), (more…)


How likely is a war over Nagorno-Karabakh in 2017?

In April 2016, the long-standing ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke down. Fighting broke out and up to 200 people were killed, many of them civilians. A consensus of observers called it the worst fighting since the 1994 ceasefire. (more…)


German Foreign Policy Explained

Silvia Stöber 

Georgia continues to make progress in Euro-Atlantic integration. In 2014 it signed an Association Agreement with the European Union and received a Substantial Package from NATO, and this year its citizens gained the right to travel visa-free within the Schengen area. (more…)


“Domine, quo vadis?” – Georgian Vulnerability to the EU’s Uncertain Future

Tatia Dolidze

Europe is both celebrating and commiserating the 60th anniversary of the Rome treaties as it coincides with the biggest identity crisis the Union has witnessed since the signing of those treaties. (more…)


French Elections 2017: Expert Interview with Régis Genté

Interview by Joseph Larsen, GIP Analyst

“We underestimate how strongly [Marine] Le Pen is supported within the population. She has a very serious chance to win.”