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Game of (open) Doors: NATO-Georgian Relations and Challenges for Sustainable Partnership

Kornely Kakachia, Bidzina Lebanidze, Shalva Dzebisashvili 

Since the 2008 Russia-Georgia War NATO-Georgia relations have been in limbo. While NATO has never formally closed its doors on Georgia, the alliance has become more skeptical of enlargement and warier of Russian interests. While Georgia’s practical NATO integration has continued to deepen, it still remains below the threshold of membership. This policy paper maps the main interests, mismatches, perceptions and misperceptions in the relations between NATO and Georgia. (more…)

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Do Ethnic Minorities Benefit from Georgia’s Europeanization?

Levan Kakhishvili

Georgia’s Europeanization has resulted in opportunities and both tangible and intangible benefits for Georgian society at large. However, as ethnic minorities are poorly integrated into Georgian social and political life, it is important to explore to what extent minority communities can access and enjoy these opportunities and benefits. This paper views Europeanization as formal rule transfer through a policy of conditionality and investigates how minorities perceive its consequences. (more…)

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Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Georgia: Barriers to Political Participation

Salome Kandelaki

The political integration of ethnic minorities is a complex process, and as Georgia remains a transitional democracy it still has a long way to go. Quality political participation of Azerbaijani and Armenian minorities at the national level remains a challenge. In Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions ethnic minorities have negligible impact on political decisions. Particularly, older generations of ethnic minorities, the majority of whom do not speak Georgian, are not informed about Georgia’s domestic or foreign policy priorities, and are subject to the unequal treatment. (more…)

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Establishing an Eastern Climate Partnership to Enhance Global Ambition: Lessons from EU-Georgia cooperation on climate change

Bram De Botselier

At a time when several countries that were key to the adoption of the Paris Agreement have a less favourable political context for climate action, the three associated EaP countries Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine show at least some political commitment to engage in global climate discussions. However, there is currently little cooperation between the EU and these countries in the field of international climate negotiations. (more…)

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Ethnic Minorities in the Context of Georgia’s European Integration: Is There a Room for Skepticism?

Nino Samkharadze

Ethnic minorities in Georgia maintain an ambivalent attitude towards European integration: on one hand, they value the practical improvements to their social and economic conditions which greater European integration promises. On the other hand, a majority of ethnic minority representatives feel skeptical towards European integration, which limits their engagement, including, by preventing various opportunities provided by the EU, such as visa liberalization, educational and economic programs. (more…)

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EU and Ethnic Minorities in Georgia: How to Counter Misinformation and Disruptive Communication

Salome Minesashvili

High public support is frequently claimed as a backbone of Georgia`s foreign policy direction and especially its ambition for membership in the European Union (EU). However, ethnic minorities in Georgia comprise a group whose unanimous approval the state’s foreign policy lacks. In comparison to ethnic Georgians, ethnic Azerbaijanis and Armenians in Georgia are significantly less supportive of Georgia`s potential membership in the European Union. (more…)

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Factors Influencing Georgian Asylum Seekers’ Choice of Destination

Meri Chachava

Since March 2017, when the European Commission (EC) allowed visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Georgian citizens, member states warned about the sharp and continuous rise in the number of unfounded asylum seekers from Georgia. The destination countries have varied during the last three years, but the top two countries have always been France and Germany. This brief examines the attractiveness of France and Germany as destinations for Georgian asylum seekers, including the factors influencing their choice. (more…)

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TURKEY’S ROLE IN STRENGTHENING BAKU’S COUNTER-TERRORISM CAPACITY: CAN A SOFT APPROACH WORK?

Nijat Eldarov

Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to work together in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. The three nations have agreed to hold joint military exercises, strengthen law-enforcement cooperation, collaborate on improving cyber-resilience, and increase interoperability between their militaries to prevent terror attacks in the region. (more…)

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The Far Right Honeytrap: Georgian Media and the Mediagenic Far Right

Tamta Gelashvili

The recent wave of far-right mobilization across the globe, including Georgia, naturally attracts wide media attention. Although the interrelation of the media and the far right, especially in the Georgian context, remains under-researched, evidence from other countries shows the potential impact of media coverage on both public opinion, i.e. the demand for the far right, and the consolidation of far-right actors, i.e. the supply of the far right. This policy paper examines the possible role the Georgian media can play in far-right mobilization and provides recommendations for both media and civil society organizations. (more…)

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The Turkey-Russia Power Play Unfolding: Can Georgia Weather the “Frenemies” Trap?

Ivanna Machitidze

The developments resulting from Russia and Turkey’s turbulent relations have been shaping the political, economic and security landscape in the post-Cold War South Caucasus for three decades already. For Georgia it is a necessity to pursue a delicate maneuver due to the circumstances of its strategic partnership with Turkey, while simultaneously struggling to address Russia’s assertive and uncompromising stance towards Tbilisi. (more…)

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