Governance and politics

Addressing Polarization in the Eastern European Neighbourhood - Georgia Session Report

Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
  • On 19 June 2023, experts on Georgia met to discuss opportunities to support rule of law and democracy in Georgia, by focusing on polarization through the lens of the social contract.
  • The Georgian social contract is marked by a polarized elite that misrepresent a certain willingness among society to collaborate for reforms. However, there are hardliners and economic beneficiaries that support this status quo.
    • The conservative and ‘pro-Russian’ side is strengthening its grip.
    • This polarized elite is partially a heritage from zero-sum game politics under Soviet rule and while fighting for independence.
  • EU candidacy is not a magic bullet. Reform starts with Georgians.
    • However, there is a big need to reclaim public and political debate, where EU and democracy must be prioritized as a topic to trigger reforms and better participation of Georgian society in the internal debates about the kind of country they would like to see in the future.
    • EU and its partners are encouraged to apply pressure for reforms and support current challenges for political mobilization.
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