A Look Beyond the Red Lines in Georgian Politics: 5 Major Risks Following the Annulment of the April 19 Agreement

Nino Samkharadze[1]

On July 28, the ruling Georgian Dream party withdrew from the April 19 Agreement, a deal which had been brokered through a long mediation process with the direct involvement of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. The annulment of the agreement further destabilized the existing turbulent and deeply polarized political environment in the country.  Although the EU mediation should have been a privilege for Georgia in terms of internal development, as well as in terms of strengthened international relations, it proved to be challenging for the Georgian political elite to conscientiously meet the commitments they made by signing the agreement. The withdrawal from the agreement once more highlighted a number of risks that Georgian democratic development has now been facing for a long time.

In the short-term perspective, those risks might now be even more dangerous due to tensions in the  pre-election environment leading up to the local self-government elections scheduled for October 2, coupled with the government repeatedly disappointing Europe’s political elite, and Georgia’s image as an unstable partner for the West. If we look at the problems within a long-term context, we can clearly see that the withdrawal from the EU-brokered agreement poses serious risks to the democratization and European integration processes in Georgia. Considering all the aforementioned, it is important to analyze exactly what some of the risks posed by the Georgian Dream’s withdrawal from the April 19 Agreement are, and what is actually beyond the red lines of the ruling party in Georgian politics.

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