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პარასკევი | 27 ნოემბერი, 2015

Awareness of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement in Georgia, one year on

The June 27, 2014 initialing of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, a wide reaching, largely economic treaty, was marked with celebration in Tbilisi as the fruit of a long running diplomatic effort to tighten ties with the European Union over the course of three Georgian administrations. To date, 27 EU member states have ratified the Agreement. The EU has become a more important market for Georgian goods since the signing of the Agreement, with the share of total exports to the EU increasing from 21% in the first eight months of 2014 to 28% in the same months of 2015, according to Geostat data. Using the findings of the 2015 Knowledge and Attitudes towards the EU survey carried out by CRRC-Georgia for Eurasia Partnership Foundation, this post looks at public perceptions of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement one year on and, specifically, examines whether Georgia’s ethnic minority population’s awareness of the Agreement has increased since 2013, when a previous wave of the same survey was conducted.

While in 2013, before the initialing of the Association Agreement, 19% of the population of Georgia reported having heard of the Agreement, today 63% report so. It should be noted, however, that this impressive increase is a measure of reported awareness and does not necessarily reflect the accuracy of information people have about the document.

Characteristics of those aware of the Agreement fall along the lines to be expected. While half of those with secondary or lower education report having heard of the Agreement, the same is true for three quarters of those with tertiary education. People aged 36 to 55 years old are slightly more likely to report knowing about the Agreement. Interestingly, according to findings of other surveys, representatives of this age group tend to be the most informed about other issues as well, such as, NGOs. Representatives of the youngest and oldest age groups are equally aware of the Agreement (60% and 58%, respectively, report having heard of it). Finally, as is commonly found with other knowledge questions in Georgia, residents of the capital are most informed, with three quarters reporting awareness of the Agreement compared with slightly over half of the residents of other urban and rural settlements. Interestingly, men report having heard of the Association Agreement slightly more frequently than women (67% compared with 58%).



Considering that the previous, 2013 wave of the EU survey found a considerable discrepancy between awareness of the Association Agreement between Georgian speakers and ethnic minority populations, it is important to take a look at this issue in 2015. While reported awareness of the Association Agreement increased by roughly five times between 2013 and 2015 among the non-Georgian speaking, ethnic minority population (from 6% to 26%), this is still half the level of awareness of the Agreement that Georgian speakers report. 


Importantly, the non-Georgian speaking ethnic minority population who have not heard about the Association Agreement are more willing to get more information about the EU than are Georgian speakers who have not heard of the agreement. 


*Note: Only the answers of those who reported that they had not heard of the Agreement, responded that they did not know whether they had heard of the Agreement or refused to answer the question about the Association Agreement are presented in the chart above (74% of ethnic minorities and 34% of ethnic Georgians).

While the majority of the population of Georgia has heard of the Association Agreement with the European Union, slightly over a third of the population is still unaware of its existence. Lack of awareness is particularly acute among representatives of ethnic minorities, but considering that many of those who are unaware of the Agreement are interested in finding out more about the EU, both the Government of Georgia and the European Union could consider public information campaigns on the Association Agreement. As in the past, this is particularly important in ethnic minority settlements where knowledge of the EU and EU-Georgia Association Agreement is much lower than in the rest of Georgia.

To look into the subject more, take a look at the data using the CRRC’s Online Data Analysis tool, here.
21.07.2014 | ორშაბათი

Friends and Enemies in the South Caucasus

On 1 April, 2014 the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) published a blog which described a future Transcaucasian Confederation agreement signed by the three South Caucasian states. Despite the fact that the blog was an April Fool’s Day joke, it provoked significant interest and reader response.
28.07.2014 | ორშაბათი

Are more educated women in Georgia choosing not to have children?

Some social scientists, such as Satoshi Kanazawa, argue that a woman’s education level can impact her willingness to have children. However, Linda Hirshman, a scholar of women’s issues, questions Kanazawa’s findings by arguing that reproduction is a culturally-inflected decision. Additionally, Gary Becker hypothesizes that women with higher education might not feel economic pressure such that marriage is economically advantageous.
18.08.2014 | ორშაბათი

One step forward, two steps back? European integration in Georgia after the Association Agreement

So far, 2014 is shaping up to be the year that Georgia might begin to reap the benefits of its pro-EU and pro-NATO foreign policy. In June, Georgia signed the EU Association Agreement despite fears over Russian agitation. NATO has indicated its readiness to discuss a “substantive package” for Georgia, if not a Membership Action Plan. However, despite these gestures towards closer cooperation, some elements of the decision to sign the Agreement have caused friction.
29.09.2014 | ორშაბათი

Georgians Have High Hopes but Little Information about the Association Agreement with the EU

Optimism abounds with regards to the recently signed Georgia-European Union Association Agreement (AA). Most Georgians, however, lack information about the EU and its relation to the country, including the details of the agreement which directly concern the future of Georgia’s economy. The AA covers many areas including national security, migration, human rights and the rule of law but is primarily a free trade agreement with potentially major implications for employment.
20.10.2014 | ორშაბათი

Do Armenians Still View Integration with the EU as Part of a Positive-Sum Game?

On September 3rd 2013 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan surprised many observers, including some in his own government, when he announced that Armenia would sign an agreement with Russia to join the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) and spurn a long-negotiated Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union. The move has been dubbed a “U-Turn” as well as a “sudden shift in policy,” although it was predated by landmark Armenian-Russian agreements in 1997 and 2006.
16.12.2015 | ოთხშაბათი

What We Know About Volunteering in Georgia

[This post originally appeared in investor.ge]

By Nino Zubashvili

Following the June 13, 2015 flood in Tbilisi, hundreds of volunteers helped to clean the disaster-affected zones of the city, which stirred the hope that volunteerism is on the rise in Georgia. In the past, studies on volunteering in Georgia conducted by non-governmental organizations (such as Helping Hand and the Civil Society Institute) claimed that volunteerism had not taken root in Georgian society, and CRRC-Georgia surveys have consistently shown a mismatch between attitudes and actions regarding volunteering in Georgia.
22.12.2015 | სამშაბათი

No, Putin is not winning Georgia away from Europe. Here are the facts.

[Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Washington Post's Monkey Cage on Monday, December 21, 2015. The original post is available here. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of CRRC-Georgia or any of the sponsors of the survey which this article is based on. The data on which this article is based is available here.]

By Dustin Gilbreath

Last Friday, after years of diplomatic wrangling over the course of two administrations, the Republic of Georgia received a report from the EU green lighting visa free travel within the European Union in the near future. Yet, media accounts from earlier this year suggested that Georgia was undergoing a “Russian turn”.
14.03.2012 | ოთხშაბათი

Georgia and the EU’s Economic Woes

Why hasn’t the economic crisis in Europe deterred Georgia’s desire to join the European Union? The majority of Georgians (and the Georgian government) want to join the EU despite crisis in the Eurozone. Yet, the continued crisis, including the Eurogroup’s recent (and second) rescue of Greece’s economy and Hungary’s harsh austerity measures, illustrates that the crisis is not isolated to the Eurozone.
19.03.2010 | პარასკევი

Gender imbalances | The South Caucasus on the top of the list

Earlier this month The Economist published two articles (article onearticle two) on imbalances in gender. In all societies there is, at birth, a sex ratio slightly biased in favor of boys: 103-106 boys to 100 girls. The number evens out later on as male babies have a higher mortality rate than female babies. In some parts of the world, however, there currently is an abnormally high number of boys being born.
14.06.2010 | ორშაბათი

Demographic statistics in Georgia | Results from international research

On June 1, the Georgian Center for Population Research (GCPR) and the French National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), with support from the French Embassy in Georgia, held a seminar on mortality- and fertility-related issues in Georgia. Irina Badurashvili from GCPR and France Meslé, Jacques Vallin and Geraldine Duthé from INED presented the results of their collaborative research dealing with mortality trends and increased male sex ratio at birth.