Georgia's European paradox
EUI, STG, Policy Brief, 2023/07
GIUASHVILI, Teona, Georgia's European paradox, EUI, STG, Policy Brief, 2023/07 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75529
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
Georgia stands on the threshold of gaining candidate status for membership of the EU. Paradoxically, however, this is precisely the moment when Georgia seems to be drifting away from the Union. A few months after applying for candidate status, the parliament sought to adopt the so-called ‘foreign agents’ law, which would have restricted Georgia’s democratic space and jeopardised its European future. After intense popular pressure, the law has been repealed, but the underlying problem has not gone away. The government seeks to de-legitimise domestic and external critics in the run up to elections next year, while taking an ambivalent position concerning Russia’s aggression of Ukraine. These developments are symptoms of deeper flaws in Georgia’s political culture, marked by stark polarisation and illiberal narratives. Domestic and external pressure needs to be sustained for the government to take determined action to achieve EU candidate status. The EU has invested deeply in Georgia’s democracy and should not give up on it. Overwhelming public support for Georgia’s European integration gives the EU leverage to ensure that the government recommits to a path of substantial reform. Progress on this path will be decisive for the future of Georgia and for peace and stability in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood. It will also provide a critical test of the EU’s capacity to support partner countries in accomplishing their European goal.
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75529
Full-text via DOI: 10.2870/035851
Series/Number: EUI; STG; Policy Brief; 2023/07
Publisher: European University Institute
Sponsorship and Funder information:
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.