December 2015

November – December 2015

  • With less than a year until the Fall 2016 parliamentary elections, the ruling Georgian Dream coalition submitted to parliament two amendments to the Electoral Code of Georgia, effectively ending a year-long political squabble over the country’s electoral system. The first of the amendments entailed redistricting the 73 single-seat majoritarian constituencies, and was passed by the

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  • The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or simply the Islamic State (hereafter referred to as Daesh) is an important and complex threat to the modern world. Georgia faces several major threats from Daesh. One of the biggest threats is the ‘Caucasus Wilayat’

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October – November 2015

  • The beginning of the political season in Georgia has turned out to be detrimental for the independence of both the judiciary and the media. In August 2015, several popular political talk shows stopped airing on Imedi TV, Maestro TV, and the Georgian Public Broadcaster. Moreover, the future broadcasting of the most influential and critical TV

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  • The Tbilisi-based NGO Media Development Foundation recently published a report monitoring hate speech, xenophobia, and anti-western attitudes in Georgia, covering the period 2014-2015. The report shows that anti-western rhetoric is closely interlinked with xenophobic and homophobic sentiments. The Georgian public has been a strong supporter of the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration in the past

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  • After Georgia’s national currency, the Lari (GEL), saw a significant decrease in value beginning in late 2014, the monetary policy of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) became one of the main subjects of criticism from the Georgian government and parliamentary members of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition. Criticism was also particularly directed against the

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June – July 2015

  • On the 25th of May, four members of parliament from the opposition United National Movement (UNM) withdrew from the party. While a number of UNM members have left the party since the October 2012 parliamentary elections, this is the first time that high-profile members quit. After their withdrawal from the UNM parliamentary faction, the makeup

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  • The Greek economic crisis will impact the economic stability of other countries, including Georgia, which has a specific connection on the Greek economy. Greece is the second largest recipient of Georgian migrants looking for work, behind only Russia. While there are no official statistics on Georgian migrants by country, according to unofficial information, approximately 200,000

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  • ISIS is broadening its sphere of terrorist activities beyond its core of Iraq and Syria. In comparison to other terrorist organizations, ISIS is particularly dangerous in terms of recruitment because it has efficiently adopted new technologies, particularly social media, for the purpose of recruitment. ISIS is becoming a serious threat and concern for Georgia and

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March – April 2015

  • After meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Paris on March 02, 2015, French President Francois Hollande announced, “at present, France maintains the position that countries aspiring to become NATO members should be declined.” The NATO Secretary General’s visit was intended to discuss security challenges facing the Alliance both in the east and south.

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  • The national currency of Georgia, the Lari (GEL), depreciated by 24% with respect to the U.S. Dollar (USD) in the last four months, from November 2014 to March 2015. Even members of the Georgian government referred to such a depreciation of the currency as a “currency crisis.”   The dollarization of Georgia’s economy is very

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  • On April 1 2015, the amendments to the Georgian law on Broadcasting entered into force. The amendments significantly change the norms regulating commercial advertising and product placement on television. Even though both the parliamentarian minority and TV broadcasters criticized the changes as a threat to the media’s editorial independence through financial pressure, the parliamentarian majority

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December 2014 – January 2015

  • Georgia’s national currency, the lari(GEL), depreciated twice during last year with respect to the U.S. dollar. The first time was in January 2014 (with 7% depreciation), and the second time was in December 2014 (with 8% depreciation). At some level, instability in the exchange rate reflects problems in the economy: diminished economic growth rate, enlarged

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  • At the end of 2014, Ukraine appointed foreign citizens to senior administrative posts in its new government as the country struggles through a turning point of its statehood. Georgian former officials are present among the appointees, including former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, former Minister of Health, former Deputy Minister of Justice and the former

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  • Georgia recently signed an Association Agreement (AA), which implies the harmonization of the internal legislation with the EU laws in different sectors. While it demonstrates Georgia’s European aspirations, AA provides a framework for new relationships and sets out the requirements for Georgia to comply with EU regulations. As a result, Georgia, as a transit country

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October – November 2014

  • On the 4th of November Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili dismissed the Defense Minister Irakli Alasania few hours after the latter had stated that the investigation against high level officials in his ministry was politically motivated and an attack on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration. The sacking triggered the resignation of entire foreign policy team, Foreign Affairs Minister

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  • On October 13, 2014 the Russian Federation sent to Abkhazia, occupied region of Georgia a so-called Agreement on Alliance and Integration. Proposal of this agreement did not come as a surprise, for the groundwork had been in process for several months since Russia orchestrated the rise of a career KGB officer, a pro-Russian Raul Khajimba

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  • On September 1, 2014 the government of Georgia adopted a new law on “the legal status of the foreigners and the stateless people in Georgia”, changing the simplified visa regime, exercised from 2012 to 2014 that had contributed to the increased number of foreign visitors in the country and establishment of investment friendly environment. It

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September 2014

  • On September 1st major part of the Association Agreement, which was signed by Georgia on the 27th of June, 2014, entered into force. The Agreement is an important step towards Georgia’s European integration. It entails a new legal framework of EU-Georgia relations, opens the European market to Georgian products, creates conditions for visa liberalization, and

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  • The occupied region of Abkhazia held snap de facto presidential elections on the 24th of August, following a political crisis in May. Protesters stormed the presidential building in Sokhumi, causing the resignation of Mr. Alexander Ankvab, who rejected the idea of engaging in the dialogue with the opposition. As was expected, the election was won

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  • After months of political turmoil and Russian meddling in Ukraine, the NATO Summit in Wales on the 4th and 5th of September was anticipated to be one of the defining events for regional and Euro-Atlantic security. For Georgia, which has been striving to become a NATO member since 2002, the summit carried special significance. It

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