The Elections and Kyrgyz-Kazakh Complications

By Shairbek Juraev

Can an exercise of democratic elections jeopardize a nation’s foreign relations? Not necessarily, but when combined with the non-democratic exercise of foreign policy, it probably can. The 2017 presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan, much praised as a rare case of peaceful power transfer from one elected leader to another in Central Asia, has also gained prominence for its major foreign policy implications.

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What Dreams May Come for Those that Dream of Europe

By Yaroslava Babych

If four years ago, someone suggested that a relatively small student protest camp in Ukraine, violently dispersed overnight by police , would have a profound influence on European history, many would simply laugh at the thought. For many years, EU policymakers have been walking a tightrope between integrating neighboring countries into its institutional orbit and keeping said neighbors at arm’s length, making sure that these countries do not actually “become” Europe in the full sense of the word.

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The Ballad of Misha and Petro

By Lincoln Mitchell

The latest verse in the ballad of Misha and Petro may be the strangest one yet. The former Georgian President, Misha Saakashvili, and current Ukrainian President, Petro Poroschenko, were friends from their student days. When Poroschenko was first elected President of Ukraine in 2014, it was seen as logical that he appointed Saakashvili first as a senior advisor and then later governor of Odessa.

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EVENT: Youth Perspectives on Democracy Promotion in Eurasia

Licinia Simão, an Assistant Professor at the University of Coimbra in Portugal and an EDSN Fellow, is hosting an interesting event at the University of Coimbra in the framework of the the EDSN project.

The event, Youth Perspectives on Democracy Promotion in Eurasia, will feature a moderated dialogue among and between international relations students at Coimbra with the participation of Georgian Ambassador to Portgual Revaz Beshidze.

This round table brings together the perspectives of young European students and the Georgian Ambassador in Portugal, on the the policies of democracy promotion in Eurasia, since the end of the Soviet Union. Topics including current EU policies towards the region, the role of Russia and the United States, as well as the permanence of separatist conflicts and the ongoing wars of information, among others, are addressed in the discussion. The purpose is to assess the achievements of past and current policies and identify new paths towards the development of cooperative and responsible regional relations.

The event is scheduled for 05 December at the University of Coimbra. The discussion will provide an interesting forum for candid discussions of democracy promotion in Eurasia, including considerations of Euro-Atlantic integration as well as key security, political, and economic dynamics in the region.

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POLICY BRIEF: Does Democracy Still Matter in Georgia?

By Lincoln Mitchell

More than a quarter of century after once again achieving independence, fourteen years after the Rose Revolution, and five years after the democratic breakthrough that defeated the United National Movement (UNM), the state of democracy in Georgia is still mixed…

[Download the Policy Brief (PDF)]

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The Challenge of Moving EU-Georgia Relations Forward

by Licinia Simao

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit on 24 November in Brussels, represents another important milestone in Georgia’s path of European integration. After having signed an Association Agreement with the European Union that entered into force in July 2016, and having been granted visa free status, Georgia is now looking forward to seeing its position as a frontrunner in the EaP community confirmed by the EU leadership. The current challenge for the EU is to find ways to maintain Georgia committed to the agreed reforms in the absence of significant new political incentives.

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EaP Summit: A Beginning or End for EU-Azerbaijan Relations?

by Zaur Shiriyev

Today’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels represents a never-ending question for the EU: how to retain the format’s effectiveness, and maintaining motivation among all participant states given increasing divergences in what they want from the EU. So far, the three countries that have signed Association Agreements get more benefits, especially within the EaP format, while Armenia and Azerbaijan are on track to signing comprehensive new agreements outside the scope of the EaP format, and Belarus’s stance remains less clear.

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