PMC Research recently made a contribution to the Trans European Policy Studies Association’s (TEPSA) book, entitled Enlargement and the Future of Europe. Notably, researchers Elene Panchulidze and Irakli Sirbiladze (both of PMC Research), along with TEPSA’s Mariam Khotenashvili, co-wrote the compelling “Seizing the EU Enlargement Momentum: Georgia’s Prospects for Joining the European Family” chapter. Specifically, the chapter focuses on Georgia’s relations with the European Union (EU).
Furthermore, the book presents insights from over 60 experts in more than 40 countries across the EU and its neighboring regions. In addition, it analyzes the distinct national visions of EU Member States and neighboring countries regarding the enlargement of the EU, highlighting national histories, policies, and public perceptions of European integration.
Of note, the chapter examines how Georgia’s relations with the EU have undergone phases of partnership, cooperation, and association, before the recognition of its “European perspective.” That decision, accelerated somewhat by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, effectively removed any ambiguity regarding the EU prospects of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
As the book outlines, in a geopolitical context dominated by Russia’s war on Ukraine, the calls for EU enlargement have been amplified. It also reveals, however, that views vary considerably from one nation to the next on the timing, conditions, and reforms necessary for Eastern neighborhood countries and non-member states in the Western Balkans to be accepted into the European family. Crucially, the EU’s enlargement policy is seen not only as an investment in peace and stability, but also as an effective political tool to fend off pressure from illiberal actors. The book also presents concrete policy recommendations for national governments and the EU as a whole on the next pivotal steps in the continent’s history.
“As a Georgian based in the heart of the EU for some time now, the Union’s enlargement and Georgia’s future in it are issues of enormous significance. The chapter offers some carefully considered ideas as to how Georgia and other countries can capitalize on this opportunity, to the benefit of not only the individual nations but the continent as a whole,”noted Panchulidze, one of the chapter’s co-authors.