The war in Ukraine has deep implications across Europe and Central Asia, but perhaps especially in the Caucasus. The recent demonstrations in Tbilisi against the government’s proposed new “foreign agent” law, based on the Russian model, illustrated the fracture in Georgian society. While the government leans (discreetly) toward the Kremlin, and has avoided imposing sanctions on Russia, the population mostly supports Ukraine and wants to join the EU. Last summer, the EU set a number of conditions that Georgia needs to fulfill before gaining status as a membership candidate. Is the government serious about seeking EU membership, or was the proposed (and now temporarily abandoned) “foreign agent” law another step towards dismantling Georgian democracy?
Dr. Eka Meretveli, President of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, has almost twenty years’ experience from academia and civil society. She will speak about internal political fractures and Russian influences in the country, how we got to the point where we are right now and how current developments affect the state of the democracy and the Georgian people’s choice of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
Mr. Ucha Nanuashvili, formerly Ombudsperson of the Georgian Parliament, member of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) Advisory Network to the United Nations, and founder of Georgia’s Human Rights Center and Democracy Research Institute, will talk about the effects of propaganda, right wing groups and rhetoric, shrinking civic space, the human rights trends, and the experience of ICCs on-going investigation of the 2008 war with Russia.
The event will be moderated by Mr. Aage Borchgrevink, senior adviser at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and streamed at Facebook.
To register for the event physically, send an email to: [email protected]