Daily Review: The EU’s Bind in Georgia

Daily Review: The EU’s Bind in Georgia
Protesters wave a Georgian flag and an EU flag as they rally against a draft law aimed at curbing the influence of "foreign agents" near the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, March 9, 2023 (AP photo by Zurab Tsertsvadze).

Georgia’s ruling party announced that it would reintroduce legislation requiring organizations that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from overseas to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power.” The party, Georgian Dream, had abandoned the bill in March 2023 amid mass protests over fears it could jeopardize the South Caucasus country’s aspirations to join the EU. (Reuters)

Our Take

Although polarization has defined Georgian politics for much of the past decade, there is broad pro-Western sentiment in the country, with more than 80 percent of the population supporting Georgia’s aspirations to join the EU. Georgia officially applied to join the union in March 2022 and was granted candidacy status by Brussels in December. 

Paradoxically, though, it’s the country’s main opposition party that is more explicitly pro-Western. Georgian Dream, which has dominated domestic politics since 2012, is ostensibly in support of joining the EU and purports to be working toward fulfilling the 12 key reforms Brussels said Tbilisi would need to implement in order to join the union.

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