Awareness of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement in Georgia, one year on
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%).
By Nino Zubashvili
By Dustin Gilbreath
Book Review | The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict and Nationhood in the Caucasus | Christoph Zürcher
Visa liberalization: How much do people in Georgia know about the conditions of visa-free travel to the EU?CRRC’s previous blog posts have shown that the population of Georgia had rather moderate expectations of the recent visa liberalization with the Schengen zone countries, especially when it comes to the question of how much ordinary people will benefit from it. Europe Foundation’s latest survey on Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia, conducted in May 2017, provides a more nuanced understanding on how people in Georgia feel about this process and to what extent they are familiar with the conditions of visa liberalization.
The 2018 presidential elections, and particularly, the events surrounding the second round, have come to be considered a setback for Georgia’s democratic trajectory. Between the first and second round, it was announced that 600,000 voters would have debt relief immediately following the elections, leading some to suggest this was a form of vote buying. A number of instances of electoral fraud were also alleged. The use of party coordinators around election precincts was also widely condemned.
Georgians are enthusiastic in supporting the country’s accession to the European Union. Since 2012, when the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC-Georgia started tracking attitudes, three quarters of Georgians approved of the government’s goal of joining the EU, on average. What motivates Georgians to support the Union, or alternatively, to abandon support? A survey experiment included in the latest CRRC/NDI poll suggests potential economic burdens have a modest yet significant effect on support for membership. Results do not support the common belief that a potential military threat from Russia dampens Georgians’ support for the EU.
While many things could divide the public, what do the people think and which groups report more and fewer sources of division? The April 2019 NDI-CRRC poll suggests that there are fewer perceived reasons for division in rural areas and among ethnic minorities.
The data suggests that although the wars have led many in Georgia to see a potential threat of ethnic minorities to the country’s security, people are also conscious of the need for tolerance.