The Eastern Partnership and Its Effects on Georgian Political Economy

Document Type : Original Article


University of Tehran, Department of Regional Studies


Georgia is an important partner for the European Union (EU) in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and its eastern dimension under the Eastern Partnership (EaP). In a wider context, the EaP supports delivery on key global policy goals set by the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The overall framework guiding the relations between the EU and its six Eastern Partners is provided by the relevant bilateral agreements. Within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, the EU and Georgia signed an Association Agreement. The main objective of this study is to answer the following research question: What are the effects of the EaP on the political economy of Georgia? It is argued that the formulation of the EaP provided an impetus for the push for the Association Agreements with Georgia. Since the independence of Georgia, the influence of the EU has been slight in the implementation of the bilateral agenda of reforms, but the impact of the EU on this area has increased in recent years. The impact of the EaP can be measured in the three dimensions of the liberalization of trade, opening goods markets, and visa liberalization.  The findings indicate that the impact of the EU is slowly increasing; and moreover, the economic impact of the EaP will not be immediate. In the short-term, its implementation poses more challenges to Georgia than gains. In the long-run, Georgia hopes that the convergence to European standards will make it easier for Georgian firms to access the European market.


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