Power of the Powerless? The Role of Small Parties in Georgian Politics
The Image in the Eyes of the West
The decision of small parties to sign Michel’s document and afterwards enter Parliament in some sense endowed with an image of being rational actors in the eyes of Georgia’s Western partners. During the evaluation of the events, the US State Department focuses on “important progress for Georgia’s democratic development” and “political courage”. At the same time, the ambassador of the EU, Carl Hartzel, stated that “we are advancing towards the stronger partnership between the EU and Georgia”. Based on this, it can be said that the specific decisions of some of the parties helped to soften the tone of the West towards Georgia in the context of the crisis.
This context will probably grant the opposition parties in Parliament a certain level of trust from the West. They now receive an additional chance to further strengthen their European contacts, especially with the background of the planned deepening Euro-integration processes which will significantly increase their weight in the Georgian political field. The parliamentary opposition has more opportunities to get closer to European parties with similar ideologies and even prepare the ground for associate membership.
Obviously, in this case there is an increased chance that such a change of context of the European political elite towards the small parties will also increase the level of benevolence among the pro-Western electorate.