ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET

Europe Wants Georgia. But Not Georgians

In March 2015, 31-year-old Tamar Trapaidze died of severe toxicity in Italy. Like many Georgian women of her generation, Tamar was an illegal immigrant employed as an in-home care worker by an Italian family. Being “illegal”, she must have feared deportation, which is probably why she was unable to receive adequate medical treatment.

Despite all the risks it entails, illegal immigration is a key survival strategy for many Georgian families. Since 2002, presumably the best period in Georgia’s recent history, the country has lost 14.7% of its population, mostly due to emigration. Remittances by Georgians abroad currently constitute 9% of the country’s GDP (as compared with only 2% in 2002). While Russia is still the largest source of remittances, the share of EU countries has been rising over time, reaching 30% in 2014 (mostly from Greece and Italy).

These facts are well-known. What is less well understood, however, is that visa-free travel and access to the EU labor market represents the main (and, perhaps, only) channel for an immediate tangible improvement in the lot of ordinary Georgian people as a result of the country’s European "association".

…access to the EU labor market represents the main (and, perhaps, only) channel for an immediate tangible improvement in the lot of ordinary Georgian people.

Just how vital free labor mobility is for EU’s eastward expansion (and Eastern Partnership) could be inferred from the angry reactions by politicians in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary to the suggestion by David Cameron that the UK may take a tough stance on migration when re-negotiating Britain’s EU membership terms. FT’s headline this week tells it all: “UK warned by east Europe not to meddle with migrant rights”.

Access to the EU labor market is particularly crucial for countries in the less industrialized Black Sea region such as Bulgaria and Romania. According to one estimate, facing meager employment opportunities at home, “3 million Bulgarians had left the country in the past 23 years and stayed away – a momentous demographic change for a country with a population now slightly above 7 million”.

The promise of visa-free short-term travel to Europe (which implies improved access to lucrative EU jobs, legal or illegal) is even more of a temptation further to the east, in Georgia, Ukraine, and other predominantly agrarian Eastern Partnership countries.

With the Georgian economy facing strong headwinds, Georgian politicians are not shy about the importance visa liberalization for the country’s future (and, by implication, their own political survival). In a rare moment of unity, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, PM Irakli Garibashvili and Parliament Chairman Davit Usupashvili have recently called on the EU to make an “unambiguous endorsement of the visa-free regime” at the Riga Summit. “For Georgians,” they write, “visa liberalisation will provide a long-awaited tangible reward and encourage renewed reform efforts.”

To fully appreciate the importance of visa liberalization for Georgia one has to understand that any other benefits potentially associated with the EU – agricultural subsidies, infrastructure investment and access to the EU market – will not materialize any time soon, or not at all. 

The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), which Georgia and the EU signed last June, is a good case in point:

  • First, for a fully-deregulated economy, such as Georgia’s, going through the legalistic nightmare implied by the process of harmonization with EU’s legal and institutional systems represents a step back, not forward, in terms of creating a business-friendly environment (and, ultimately, jobs).
  • Second, it is not clear whether Georgia has (or will have) anything to export to the EU (under the DCFTA) that it is not already exporting (under the GSP+ regime). At the same time, the burden of new regulations (often rushed through the Georgian parliament in a hasty and thoughtless manner) concerning e.g. TV advertising, migration and labor legislation (to name just a few) is already hurting the Georgian economy.
  • Third, and crucially, the observed lack of government capacity to tailor EU-style regulations to the Georgian context – a relatively simple task – should serve as a wake up for anybody thinking that their practical implementation by an incompetent and costly government bureaucracy will benefit Georgian businesses and society. If anything, these regulations are very likely to create red tape, increase producers’ costs (and consumer prices), increase corruption risks and undermine Georgia’s international competitiveness.

This brings us back to the point we have made earlier. If the EU wants to get serious about bringing Georgia, Ukraine and, perhaps, other Eastern Neighborhood countries into the European family of nations, it should reconsider its stance on the question of visa liberalization, and do so urgently.

Yet, the EU seems to be in no hurry.


TIME TO START THE ‘WHO LOST GEORGIA’ DEBATE?

On May 8th, European Commission issued the third report on the implementation of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP). To cut the long story short, despite the Georgian government’s rush to tick off the boxes on labor and migration legislation, Georgia was not able to complete all the VLAP requirements. Georgian citizens will definitely have to wait at least another year to be able to travel to Europe visa-free.

Angela Merkel’s speech, delivered on May 21, ahead of the EU Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, represents a clear attempt to manage expectations. “Visa-free travel rules for citizens of Georgia and Ukraine … will only be possible once all the requirements are met”, she said. “Eastern Partnership”, Merkel emphasized, “is not an instrument of EU enlargement policy”, adding that the EU should not trigger false expectations of its eastern partners in this regard.

As Davit Usupashvili put it, “the smaller the country, the smaller is its right to be disappointed”. Yet, while consistent with Eastern Partnership’s original purpose and mandate, Merkel’s statement will not be well-received in Georgia (and Ukraine). Right or wrong, disappointment is a function of expectation. And great expectations, as was the case in Georgia, will inevitably bring about great disappointment with the EU and Georgia’s general direction.

According to CRRC Georgian Barometer data, Georgian people’s trust towards the EU has been declining since 2008 (from 54% “fully trusting the EU” to only 33% in 2013). In parallel, a recent NDI poll (released on May 11) suggests that “although the majority of respondents remain in favor of Euro-Atlantic integration, support for joining the Russia-led Eurasian Union seems to be increasing. 31% of respondents said they “approve” if Georgia joins the Eurasian Union.” Importantly, the three most recent NDI surveys indicate an upward trend in support for the competing geopolitical project: from 11% in November 2013 to 20% in August 2014, to 31% in May 2015.


AND WHO GAINS?

To paraphrase Sweden’s former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, while the EU is making Georgia offers it cannot properly understand, Putin’s offers are increasingly difficult to refuse.

As discussed in a recent article by Sergi Kapanadze, Russia’s “soft power” has been on the rise since late 2012. Abashidze-Karasin discussions led to progress on many fronts. Russia simplified the process of issuing visas for Georgian citizens, and the Russian labor market opened for another wave of Georgian labor migration. The ban on Georgia’s imports was lifted by mid-2014, resulting in the resumption of wine and mineral water exports to the Russian market, and a very substantial increase in the price of grapes (a great boon for Georgian farmers). Tourism from Russia has been growing very fast in 2013 and 2014 thanks to regular flight connections established between Tbilisi and an increasing number of Russian cities. Russian investment, partnerships in the energy sector, and planned infrastructure projects are all indicators of Russia’s growing presence and attraction as an economic partner, according to Kapanadze.

*   *   *

EuropeWantsGeorgia

EU’s failure to accommodate Ukraine and Georgia’s urgent desire for visa-free travel and, eventually, access to the EU labor market must be understood in the broader context of Europe’s migration crisis, the implications of which are discussed by Kenneth Rogoff in “Inequality, Immigration, and Hypocrisy”:

“Allowing freer flows of people across borders would equalize opportunities even faster than trade, but resistance is fierce. Anti-immigration political parties have made large inroads in countries like France and the United Kingdom, and are a major force in many other countries as well….

With most rich countries’ capacity and tolerance for immigration already limited, it is hard to see how a new equilibrium for global population distribution will be reached peacefully. Resentment against the advanced economies, which account for a vastly disproportionate share of global pollution and commodity consumption, could boil over.”

Rate this blog entry:
21 Comments

Related Posts

Comments

 
Guest - megiddo02 on Friday, 22 May 2015 22:03

I agree with the general message of the article that the EU does not have to offer much to Georgia.

The last passage referring to Rogoff's article is quite mistaken. Migration is not always positive. To the contrary, newspapers are full of articles about Georgian gangs of burglars making trouble in Germany an Austria. The German federal investigation authority estimates in a recent report that "hundreds of millions" of Euros are earned by what they call the "Georgian mafia" in Germany. Just a few articles, all from 2015:
http://www.swr.de/swr4/bw/region-aktuell/stuttgart/stuttgart-georgische-einbrecher-bande-vor-gericht/-/id=258338/did=15546208/nid=258338/pqwhee/index.html http://www.polizei.bayern.de/oberfranken/news/presse/aktuell/index.html/221223
http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/geheimanalyse-des-bka-hunderte-millionen-schaden-neue-georgien-mafia-raeumt-deutschlands-haeuser-aus_id_4647307.html
http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/illertissen/Polizei-schnappt-georgische-Einbrecherbande-id33209227.html

I know that 99% if Georgians are decent people and do not want to come to Europe for criminal activities. I would love to see these people travel freely in Europe. But can a responsible politician open the borders further when even with closed borders one imports truly unbearable amounts of crime from abroad?

In Germany, burglary has skyrocketed in the last years. Since 2008 burglary incidents went up about 50%. Nobody doubts this development is related to Romania and Bulgaria joining the EU in 2007, with all the simplifications in border crossing that brought about. The police is totally helpless in view of this problem and has no idea what to do. Out of desperation, they recommend people how to install additional safety measures to their homes, which is a pretty futile exercise. And many of the victims of burglary get genuinely traumatized (the psychological consequences of burglary seem to be much more severe than previously thought).

You expect Europeans to just accept this development and repeat it with Ukraine and Georgia?

Arguably, many of the former Georgian prison inmates who were released by the generous amnesties of the GD government decided not to stay in Georgia but to move on to Europe. If one exports one's criminals to other countries, one cannot expect to receive visa waivers, and, as a side effect, one's reputation goes down the drain as well.

I agree with the general message of the article that the EU does not have to offer much to Georgia. The last passage referring to Rogoff's article is quite mistaken. Migration is not always positive. To the contrary, newspapers are full of articles about Georgian gangs of burglars making trouble in Germany an Austria. The German federal investigation authority estimates in a recent report that "hundreds of millions" of Euros are earned by what they call the "Georgian mafia" in Germany. Just a few articles, all from 2015: http://www.swr.de/swr4/bw/region-aktuell/stuttgart/stuttgart-georgische-einbrecher-bande-vor-gericht/-/id=258338/did=15546208/nid=258338/pqwhee/index.html http://www.polizei.bayern.de/oberfranken/news/presse/aktuell/index.html/221223 http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/geheimanalyse-des-bka-hunderte-millionen-schaden-neue-georgien-mafia-raeumt-deutschlands-haeuser-aus_id_4647307.html http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/illertissen/Polizei-schnappt-georgische-Einbrecherbande-id33209227.html I know that 99% if Georgians are decent people and do not want to come to Europe for criminal activities. I would love to see these people travel freely in Europe. But can a responsible politician open the borders further when even with closed borders one imports truly unbearable amounts of crime from abroad? In Germany, burglary has skyrocketed in the last years. Since 2008 burglary incidents went up about 50%. Nobody doubts this development is related to Romania and Bulgaria joining the EU in 2007, with all the simplifications in border crossing that brought about. The police is totally helpless in view of this problem and has no idea what to do. Out of desperation, they recommend people how to install additional safety measures to their homes, which is a pretty futile exercise. And many of the victims of burglary get genuinely traumatized (the psychological consequences of burglary seem to be much more severe than previously thought). You expect Europeans to just accept this development and repeat it with Ukraine and Georgia? Arguably, many of the former Georgian prison inmates who were released by the generous amnesties of the GD government decided not to stay in Georgia but to move on to Europe. If one exports one's criminals to other countries, one cannot expect to receive visa waivers, and, as a side effect, one's reputation goes down the drain as well.
Guest - Eric Livny on Friday, 22 May 2015 23:12

Florian, your arguments are often used by speakers of the various anti-migration parties who don't understand the physical, inexorable nature of the global migration phenomenon. People move for low-capital countries to high-capital countries just like water flows downhill and air moves from high pressure to low pressure zones. Nothing can stop migration. Anti-migration parties can temporarily arrest this movement by erecting a dam, but any dam has a limited capacity. People will find the way to dig under or fly over it.

As long as the legal option to move is blocked, people will move illegally, with the help of mafia organizations, in the process corrupting consulates and law enforcement agencies whose job is to stop migration. With more "southern" states failing economically and politically (and falling prey to ISIS or other similar organizations), the pressure on northern borders will inevitably increase -- fueled by lack of hope at home and "resentment against the advanced economies, which account for a vastly disproportionate share of global pollution and commodity consumption" (quote from Rogoff). This resentment will eventually boil over, leading to unprecedented turmoil and revolutions.

Florian, your arguments are often used by speakers of the various anti-migration parties who don't understand the physical, inexorable nature of the global migration phenomenon. People move for low-capital countries to high-capital countries just like water flows downhill and air moves from high pressure to low pressure zones. Nothing can stop migration. Anti-migration parties can temporarily arrest this movement by erecting a dam, but any dam has a limited capacity. People will find the way to dig under or fly over it. As long as the legal option to move is blocked, people will move illegally, with the help of mafia organizations, in the process corrupting consulates and law enforcement agencies whose job is to stop migration. With more "southern" states failing economically and politically (and falling prey to ISIS or other similar organizations), the pressure on northern borders will inevitably increase -- fueled by lack of hope at home and "resentment against the advanced economies, which account for a vastly disproportionate share of global pollution and commodity consumption" (quote from Rogoff). This resentment will eventually boil over, leading to unprecedented turmoil and revolutions.
Guest - megiddo02 on Sunday, 24 May 2015 02:30

Migration is a social phenomenon, which can be influenced, channeled and suppressed like any other social phenomenon. Australia shows the way....

I think that also democratically-minded people with liberal values should have their countries to live in. With your proposed policies, there will be no place for you and I and your children to live, at least not in Europe, which will inevitably go down in chaos and terror...

I hope the Israelis will admit me to their fortress when we are at that point.

Migration is a social phenomenon, which can be influenced, channeled and suppressed like any other social phenomenon. Australia shows the way.... I think that also democratically-minded people with liberal values should have their countries to live in. With your proposed policies, there will be no place for you and I and your children to live, at least not in Europe, which will inevitably go down in chaos and terror... I hope the Israelis will admit me to their fortress when we are at that point.
Guest - Eric Livny on Sunday, 24 May 2015 02:46

Of course, migration can be "managed". For a while, at least. And islands and isolated fortresses, such as UK, Israel and Australia, can last longer than, say, the US.

Mind that even well-protected Israel has been recently facing a lot of challenges with the Sudanese asylum seekers. Many of them are held in concentration camps somewhere in the Negev deserts.

The US is in a difficult position because a) it has a long and difficult-to-protect border with Mexico; b) one may consider it to be the natural right of native Americans, whom the Mexicans honorably represent, to return to their lands; c) the US was founded a country of migrants and still has some of that ideology in its genes, laws formal institutions.

It is rather ironic to see most former colonial powers (UK, France, the Netherlands and even Belgium) being "colonized" by their former slaves. Spain and Portugal may be facing the same issues, except that they probably don't mind receiving the likes of Messi :)

Of course, migration can be "managed". For a while, at least. And islands and isolated fortresses, such as UK, Israel and Australia, can last longer than, say, the US. Mind that even well-protected Israel has been recently facing a lot of challenges with the Sudanese asylum seekers. Many of them are held in concentration camps somewhere in the Negev deserts. The US is in a difficult position because a) it has a long and difficult-to-protect border with Mexico; b) one may consider it to be the natural right of native Americans, whom the Mexicans honorably represent, to return to their lands; c) the US was founded a country of migrants and still has some of that ideology in its genes, laws formal institutions. It is rather ironic to see most former colonial powers (UK, France, the Netherlands and even Belgium) being "colonized" by their former slaves. Spain and Portugal may be facing the same issues, except that they probably don't mind receiving the likes of Messi :)
Guest - megiddo02 on Sunday, 24 May 2015 18:01

Yes, I agree that the US are a different story. Almost everyone in the US is an immigrant or descends from immigrants, therefore it is less clear by which legitimation they can reject new immigrants.

(I do not think, however, that the Mexicans represent those native Americans who have a historical claim on North America. Firstly, the Mexicans had huge inflows of Europeans, so that like the North Americans they are also just partly descending from natives. Secondly, the Mexicans descend from Aztecs and other cultures which did not settle in the area of today's United States.)

Humans should form groups according to their value systems. This is best for everyone. There should be countries where Sharia is the rule, and there should be countries with gay marriage. It does not make sense to have people populating the same country who cannot agree on some fundamental values like democracy, freedom of speech (including the right to ridicule religion), the freedom to choose one's religion, the free choice of one's lifestyle and sexual preferences (as far as nobody else is harmed), and the separation of politics and religion. While for those people who lean towards Sharia, there are many places to go (e.g. 26 countries where Islam is the state religion), space is getting scarce for those who prefer liberal, non-religious societies.

In addition, what you depict as a rather positive vision, namely borderlss states and multi-ethnic societies, is a totally asymmetric development. While in Turkey (as in most other Muslim countries) it is not allowed to build churches, there are millions of Muslims and Turks in Europe, forming large congretations (with mosques!), and increasingly influencing the atmospheres in the societies. People being afraid to speak out against Islam, huge increases in crime rates (for certain offenses), and all kinds of barbaric customs imported -- that's how immigration pans out in reality.

There is absolutely no need for that, as there is no technical constraint which prevents Europe from regulating its immigration. What is lacking, however, is the political will.

Yes, I agree that the US are a different story. Almost everyone in the US is an immigrant or descends from immigrants, therefore it is less clear by which legitimation they can reject new immigrants. (I do not think, however, that the Mexicans represent those native Americans who have a historical claim on North America. Firstly, the Mexicans had huge inflows of Europeans, so that like the North Americans they are also just partly descending from natives. Secondly, the Mexicans descend from Aztecs and other cultures which did not settle in the area of today's United States.) Humans should form groups according to their value systems. This is best for everyone. There should be countries where Sharia is the rule, and there should be countries with gay marriage. It does not make sense to have people populating the same country who cannot agree on some fundamental values like democracy, freedom of speech (including the right to ridicule religion), the freedom to choose one's religion, the free choice of one's lifestyle and sexual preferences (as far as nobody else is harmed), and the separation of politics and religion. While for those people who lean towards Sharia, there are many places to go (e.g. 26 countries where Islam is the state religion), space is getting scarce for those who prefer liberal, non-religious societies. In addition, what you depict as a rather positive vision, namely borderlss states and multi-ethnic societies, is a totally asymmetric development. While in Turkey (as in most other Muslim countries) it is not allowed to build churches, there are millions of Muslims and Turks in Europe, forming large congretations (with mosques!), and increasingly influencing the atmospheres in the societies. People being afraid to speak out against Islam, huge increases in crime rates (for certain offenses), and all kinds of barbaric customs imported -- that's how immigration pans out in reality. There is absolutely no need for that, as there is no technical constraint which prevents Europe from regulating its immigration. What is lacking, however, is the political will.
Guest - Eric Livny on Sunday, 24 May 2015 18:27

Florian, there is no question that people have the right to cluster any way they like. The US is a great example of how clustering into wealth-, taste-, and belief-based communities can work in practice at the sub-national level. The US has a place for everybody - Asian, African-American, native Americans, the Quakers and Amish, and even people without any permanent place (homeless and people living in caravans).

As you would probably agree, the right to cluster is a 'positive' freedom. At the national level, it does not translate into the right by one group to prevent another group or individuals (e.g. of a certain color) from moving into its territory or using its buses. In other words, it does not justify Apartheid and Racial Segregation WITHIN nation states (presumably, these national policies were guided by exactly the same considerations you have so eloquently described above and yet were deemed immoral and destabilizing).

Now, if you and I are against Apartheid and Racial Segregation at the sub-national level, how can we justify the application of these very policies against whole nations (most of which, by the way, are former colonies, and thus have a moral claim to a part of the wealth enjoyed by the rich white people who were lucky to be born on the European continent).

I am quite certain that a world without 'national' borders would still provide enough space for people to voluntarily cluster according to their beliefs, hobbies and whatnot. The fishermen would probably choose to live close to water reservoirs. Nudists will form their own closed communities. Financiers and economists will live in Manhattan.

The best test of any moral scheme, I was told by a former teacher, is whether or not it can be universalized. Yours fails that test.

Florian, there is no question that people have the right to cluster any way they like. The US is a great example of how clustering into wealth-, taste-, and belief-based communities can work in practice at the sub-national level. The US has a place for everybody - Asian, African-American, native Americans, the Quakers and Amish, and even people without any permanent place (homeless and people living in caravans). As you would probably agree, the right to cluster is a 'positive' freedom. At the national level, it does not translate into the right by one group to prevent another group or individuals (e.g. of a certain color) from moving into its territory or using its buses. In other words, it does not justify Apartheid and Racial Segregation WITHIN nation states (presumably, these national policies were guided by exactly the same considerations you have so eloquently described above and yet were deemed immoral and destabilizing). Now, if you and I are against Apartheid and Racial Segregation at the sub-national level, how can we justify the application of these very policies against whole nations (most of which, by the way, are former colonies, and thus have a moral claim to a part of the wealth enjoyed by the rich white people who were lucky to be born on the European continent). I am quite certain that a world without 'national' borders would still provide enough space for people to voluntarily cluster according to their beliefs, hobbies and whatnot. The fishermen would probably choose to live close to water reservoirs. Nudists will form their own closed communities. Financiers and economists will live in Manhattan. The best test of any moral scheme, I was told by a former teacher, is whether or not it can be universalized. Yours fails that test.
Guest - megiddo02 on Monday, 25 May 2015 03:55

The US are not an ideal society, and the very reasons for the flaws of the US are to be found in the fragmentation of the society. For instance, something like a social welfare state cannot work in a fragmented society, because there is no solidarity between the groups (only within groups). There is very little solidarity among Americans who belong to different clusters, and the situation is getting worse the less the white majority plays the role of a "lead culture" which takes responsibility for the society as a whole. Soon, America will be in a situation where nobody takes responsibility for the society as a whole.

However, if you open up your borders for people who have illiberal and particularistic values, who even do not agree that decisions should be made democratically and that religion should be a privat matter, fragmentation is an inevitable consequence.

Apartheid is simply a situation of fragmentation where the different groups do not accept but suppress and subjugate each other. You may call clustering a "positive freedom" and reject to force other groups to form clusters, but who will be left in your society who can make sure that this principle is obeyed? Who will make sure the different groups coexist peacefully?

In Germany, there are about 5000 extremists salafists. Even if I would agree that they can practice their extremist ideology, they would never accept those who live around them to not follow Islam. The only reason that they have not taken over yet is that currently they are too few and too powerless. Here you can see how the fragmented society pans out in Britain:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC2VQjSgpso

In a fragmented society, there is always the risk that some groups will strive for dominance, which can simply be fueled by higher fertility rates. In all countries where Islam has the majority, all other groups are severely discriminated against, quite similar to an apartheid system. And if you do a sober analysis based on common sense, you will see that Islam demographically takes over Europe within the 21st century. I did such an analysis myself based on publicly available data.

Why would anybody who is liberal-minded and believes in personal freedom want that?

On a level of nations, regulating immigration is necessary to preserve the freedom and peace within societies. This is no "apartheid among states", as you suggest, because I do not lobby for Europe to suppress or subjugate other countries. It is just the right to cluster on a national level, the positive freedom you uphold yourself, and which would not be granted with open borders.

Regarding your final remark, can you explain why a world where countries offer different moral frames, justice systems, political systems, and even economic systems, and not all variety can be found within a country, would violate the test of "universalization"?

I am a meta-universalist. I give people the right to live according to whatever values they like, but I do not say that these values must be the same for all people (as the universalist does).

The US are not an ideal society, and the very reasons for the flaws of the US are to be found in the fragmentation of the society. For instance, something like a social welfare state cannot work in a fragmented society, because there is no solidarity between the groups (only within groups). There is very little solidarity among Americans who belong to different clusters, and the situation is getting worse the less the white majority plays the role of a "lead culture" which takes responsibility for the society as a whole. Soon, America will be in a situation where nobody takes responsibility for the society as a whole. However, if you open up your borders for people who have illiberal and particularistic values, who even do not agree that decisions should be made democratically and that religion should be a privat matter, fragmentation is an inevitable consequence. Apartheid is simply a situation of fragmentation where the different groups do not accept but suppress and subjugate each other. You may call clustering a "positive freedom" and reject to force other groups to form clusters, but who will be left in your society who can make sure that this principle is obeyed? Who will make sure the different groups coexist peacefully? In Germany, there are about 5000 extremists salafists. Even if I would agree that they can practice their extremist ideology, they would never accept those who live around them to not follow Islam. The only reason that they have not taken over yet is that currently they are too few and too powerless. Here you can see how the fragmented society pans out in Britain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC2VQjSgpso In a fragmented society, there is always the risk that some groups will strive for dominance, which can simply be fueled by higher fertility rates. In all countries where Islam has the majority, all other groups are severely discriminated against, quite similar to an apartheid system. And if you do a sober analysis based on common sense, you will see that Islam demographically takes over Europe within the 21st century. I did such an analysis myself based on publicly available data. Why would anybody who is liberal-minded and believes in personal freedom want that? On a level of nations, regulating immigration is necessary to preserve the freedom and peace within societies. This is no "apartheid among states", as you suggest, because I do not lobby for Europe to suppress or subjugate other countries. It is just the right to cluster on a national level, the positive freedom you uphold yourself, and which would not be granted with open borders. Regarding your final remark, can you explain why a world where countries offer different moral frames, justice systems, political systems, and even economic systems, and not all variety can be found within a country, would violate the test of "universalization"? I am a meta-universalist. I give people the right to live according to whatever values they like, but I do not say that these values must be the same for all people (as the universalist does).
Guest - Ia on Friday, 22 May 2015 23:18

I agree with the abovementioned comment. In case we need a visa-free travel to the EU, we should keep the criminals in prisons! It's true that lots of criminals have left Georgia, because they do their activities easier outside. There are also lots of honest people who won't do any harm to any EU country, but they have to wait a lot for getting visas. These category of honest people suffer, because of our compatriot ( mainly male) criminal offenders who commit theft in the EU countries. The poor ladies most of the times sacrifice their health, with working as elderly assistants. Georgian women migrated legally or illegally abroad help their families back to Georgia with money received for their honest hard work. I know a few of them. They are so careful to keep their patents' health. May be at this stage they could waive visas and facilitate the working permits for the Georgian women, who really contribute a lot and prolong life to the aging EU population?

I agree with the abovementioned comment. In case we need a visa-free travel to the EU, we should keep the criminals in prisons! It's true that lots of criminals have left Georgia, because they do their activities easier outside. There are also lots of honest people who won't do any harm to any EU country, but they have to wait a lot for getting visas. These category of honest people suffer, because of our compatriot ( mainly male) criminal offenders who commit theft in the EU countries. The poor ladies most of the times sacrifice their health, with working as elderly assistants. Georgian women migrated legally or illegally abroad help their families back to Georgia with money received for their honest hard work. I know a few of them. They are so careful to keep their patents' health. May be at this stage they could waive visas and facilitate the working permits for the Georgian women, who really contribute a lot and prolong life to the aging EU population?
Guest - Eric Livny on Saturday, 23 May 2015 03:42

Thanks for your comment, Ia! I like your suggestion to discriminate against Georgian males and allow visa free travel for hard working Georgian women. :-)

Incidentally, I know that Israel (and perhaps some European states as well) discriminate against young, good looking women whom they suspect in being sexual workers.

Thanks for your comment, Ia! I like your suggestion to discriminate against Georgian males and allow visa free travel for hard working Georgian women. :-) Incidentally, I know that Israel (and perhaps some European states as well) discriminate against young, good looking women whom they suspect in being sexual workers.
Guest - Papuna Lezhava on Saturday, 23 May 2015 01:52

Dear Eric and Nino,

Very nice article.
After a quick overview, I would make two suggestions though:
1. Be careful while interpreting NDI data. 2015 poll question on Eurasian Union, is not comparable with the one in 2014. It is wrong to interpret that there is an upward trend in support for Eurasian Union. While this may, or may not be true, NDI data certainly does not provide a solid basis for this conclusion. If you compare the similar questions on the EU you will also conclude that support for the EU has increased. Obviously, both cannot be true.
2. Retoric, language, intentions and everything in the third report of European Commission on VLAP is very positive. They command Georgia on the implementation of all four blocks of VLAP. I'm having difficulties to understand how one could interpret this as a negative news. Here is the quote from the conclusion of the report:
"Georgia’s progress under the four blocks of the VLAP has been significant. This shows the country’s strong commitment and the extent of the efforts it has made. The implementation and results of the reforms Georgia has introduced have been thoroughly analysed. This has established that the functioning of the legislative and policy framework, and the integrity of the institutional and organisational principles and procedures across the four blocks, generally comply with the best European and international standards. Therefore, the Commission considers that Georgia is broadly in line with the second-phase benchmarks of the VLAP."

Dear Eric and Nino, Very nice article. After a quick overview, I would make two suggestions though: 1. Be careful while interpreting NDI data. 2015 poll question on Eurasian Union, is not comparable with the one in 2014. It is wrong to interpret that there is an upward trend in support for Eurasian Union. While this may, or may not be true, NDI data certainly does not provide a solid basis for this conclusion. If you compare the similar questions on the EU you will also conclude that support for the EU has increased. Obviously, both cannot be true. 2. Retoric, language, intentions and everything in the third report of European Commission on VLAP is very positive. They command Georgia on the implementation of all four blocks of VLAP. I'm having difficulties to understand how one could interpret this as a negative news. Here is the quote from the conclusion of the report: "Georgia’s progress under the four blocks of the VLAP has been significant. This shows the country’s strong commitment and the extent of the efforts it has made. The implementation and results of the reforms Georgia has introduced have been thoroughly analysed. This has established that the functioning of the legislative and policy framework, and the integrity of the institutional and organisational principles and procedures across the four blocks, generally comply with the best European and international standards. Therefore, the Commission considers that Georgia is broadly in line with the second-phase benchmarks of the VLAP."
Guest - Eric Livny on Saturday, 23 May 2015 03:55

Papuna, I very much appreciate your comments.

I have not analyzed the NDI data in any depth (which may have been a mistake). Will do so now and revert.

As to your second comment: the positive rhetoric is certainly there to sweeten the bitter pill and allow PM Garibashvili to save face and declare victory. If everything is so positive, the EU should have moved ahead and granted Georgia the long coveted visa-free travel to Europe. If we are "broadly in line" with their bureaucratic benchmarks they should trust Georgia's willingness and ability to gradually complete whatever minor tweaking of existing laws and regulations (which already "comply with the best European and international standards").

In my view, Europe is not ready to accept millions of Ukrainian migrants, and this the real reason for not granting visa-free travel to Georgia, which, for political reasons, is being given equal treatment.

Georgia may eventually get it if Europe agrees to differentiate between Georgia and Ukraine.

Papuna, I very much appreciate your comments. I have not analyzed the NDI data in any depth (which may have been a mistake). Will do so now and revert. As to your second comment: the positive rhetoric is certainly there to sweeten the bitter pill and allow PM Garibashvili to save face and declare victory. If everything is so positive, the EU should have moved ahead and granted Georgia the long coveted visa-free travel to Europe. If we are "broadly in line" with their bureaucratic benchmarks they should trust Georgia's willingness and ability to gradually complete whatever minor tweaking of existing laws and regulations (which already "comply with the best European and international standards"). In my view, Europe is not ready to accept millions of Ukrainian migrants, and this the real reason for not granting visa-free travel to Georgia, which, for political reasons, is being given equal treatment. Georgia may eventually get it if Europe agrees to differentiate between Georgia and Ukraine.
Guest - Papuna Lezhava on Saturday, 23 May 2015 05:34

Eric,

Thank you for your thoughts.

I am in line with you that Georgia might be suffering by being boiled in the same pot with Ukraine.
I don't think though that an official report of the European Commission would unfairly be drafted in a way to please Garibashvili. I believe there was no expectation in Europe that Georgia or Ukraine would implement the VLAP way ahead of the schedule. The expectation was that Georgia and Ukraine would be in line with the benchmark, and they are - hence the positive report. There probably was an optimistic ambition in the government, which is good on one hand, but on the other hand they might have mismanaged the public expectations.

Please, do take a look at NDI data. Compared to 2014, the 2015 question on Eurasian Union clearly suffers from framing bias in at least two ways, which I believe can have significant impact on outcome. And even if the bias was not there, numbers are statistically not comparable. In 2014 choice of Eurasian Union vs. Europe is evaluated in a single question (i.e. responses adding up to 100%), while in 2015 these are two different questions (i.e. responses adding up to 200% minus the overlap).
Unfortunately, I have seen this biased interpretation all over the press in Georgia. I think we, the critical thinkers, not the journalists, should be taking the lead on framing the correct perceptions.

Eric, Thank you for your thoughts. I am in line with you that Georgia might be suffering by being boiled in the same pot with Ukraine. I don't think though that an official report of the European Commission would unfairly be drafted in a way to please Garibashvili. I believe there was no expectation in Europe that Georgia or Ukraine would implement the VLAP way ahead of the schedule. The expectation was that Georgia and Ukraine would be in line with the benchmark, and they are - hence the positive report. There probably was an optimistic ambition in the government, which is good on one hand, but on the other hand they might have mismanaged the public expectations. Please, do take a look at NDI data. Compared to 2014, the 2015 question on Eurasian Union clearly suffers from framing bias in at least two ways, which I believe can have significant impact on outcome. And even if the bias was not there, numbers are statistically not comparable. In 2014 choice of Eurasian Union vs. Europe is evaluated in a single question (i.e. responses adding up to 100%), while in 2015 these are two different questions (i.e. responses adding up to 200% minus the overlap). Unfortunately, I have seen this biased interpretation all over the press in Georgia. I think we, the critical thinkers, not the journalists, should be taking the lead on framing the correct perceptions.
Guest - Simon Appleby on Saturday, 23 May 2015 15:05

The old GSP+ scheme covered hundreds of products that could be exported duty-free to the EU, including most food and beverage products other than alcohol, but only a handful of companies ever took advantage of it. It was nonetheless a very practical concession; food processors wishing to export to the EU could make the relevant investments in achieving EU food safety standards, and domestically focussed processors could maintain their own domestic standards at lower cost. The DCFTA will admittedly be helpful to wine exporters targeting Europe as it will eliminate tariffs and bring down the on-shelf price of Georgian wine, but Europe is a relatively minor importer of Georgian wine, a mature market with huge production capacity of its own and its own brands which are worldwide household names.

Businesspeople in the 45-65 year old bracket (who control much of Georgia's business currently) have a strong bias towards dealing with familiar nationalities, namely Russia and other former Soviet Union countries. Younger businesspeople, many of whom have limited command of the Russian language, are more amenable to doing business with Europeans and other nationalities than their elders. CRRC's Caucasus Barometer data reflects this.

http://caucasusbarometer.org/en/cb2013ge/AGEGROUP-by-BUSINEUR-withoutdkra/

To an extent changing export patterns will occur regardless of government policy; as younger generations of export-oriented entrepreneurs enter the market.

Interestingly, Eurasian Union member Armenia exports far more to the EU than it does to Russia and the rest of the Eurasian Union combined, no doubt taking advantage of the large Armenian network in France. To a certain extent, it is attitude and possession of good contacts abroad that drives export growth, in spite of government activity and trade policy rather than because of it.

The old GSP+ scheme covered hundreds of products that could be exported duty-free to the EU, including most food and beverage products other than alcohol, but only a handful of companies ever took advantage of it. It was nonetheless a very practical concession; food processors wishing to export to the EU could make the relevant investments in achieving EU food safety standards, and domestically focussed processors could maintain their own domestic standards at lower cost. The DCFTA will admittedly be helpful to wine exporters targeting Europe as it will eliminate tariffs and bring down the on-shelf price of Georgian wine, but Europe is a relatively minor importer of Georgian wine, a mature market with huge production capacity of its own and its own brands which are worldwide household names. Businesspeople in the 45-65 year old bracket (who control much of Georgia's business currently) have a strong bias towards dealing with familiar nationalities, namely Russia and other former Soviet Union countries. Younger businesspeople, many of whom have limited command of the Russian language, are more amenable to doing business with Europeans and other nationalities than their elders. CRRC's Caucasus Barometer data reflects this. http://caucasusbarometer.org/en/cb2013ge/AGEGROUP-by-BUSINEUR-withoutdkra/ To an extent changing export patterns will occur regardless of government policy; as younger generations of export-oriented entrepreneurs enter the market. Interestingly, Eurasian Union member Armenia exports far more to the EU than it does to Russia and the rest of the Eurasian Union combined, no doubt taking advantage of the large Armenian network in France. To a certain extent, it is attitude and possession of good contacts abroad that drives export growth, in spite of government activity and trade policy rather than because of it.
Guest - Eric Livny on Saturday, 23 May 2015 15:28

Thanks, Simon, I could not agree more. I certainly agree with you that eventually Georgia will be able to diversify the structure of its exports, not in the least thanks to international companies operating in the Georgian market (Ferrero and Hipp being just two obvious examples).

The DCFTA includes duty free export provision for quite a number of other ag products,not just alcohol. Here is what we wrote on this very subject a year ago, on the eve of signing the DCFTA (http://www.iset.ge/blog/?p=3329):

"Georgia already enjoys low tariff barriers in trading with Europe subject to EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+). Thus, Georgia faces zero duties on about 75% of all tariff lines. Yet, Georgia’s ability to take advantage of GSP+ treatment has been extremely limited. In 2013, the country’s total exports to the EU stood at USD 608mln (21% of Georgia’s total exports), of which about $231mln enjoyed GSP+ preferences. Hazelnuts accounted for almost 60% of total GSP+ exports. Other GSP+ exports were fertilizer, ferroalloys and apple concentrate.

DCFTA will abolish tariffs for 100% of product categories, including agricultural products that are of potential interest for Georgian exporters such as wine, cheese, live animals, sheep and goat meat, yogurt, chocolate, animal skins and wool (which have not be covered by GSP+ preferences), berries, fruit and vegetables (included canned and processed), and fruit juices (which enjoyed from partial preferences under GSP+).

While this seems like a significant improvement, the extent to which Georgia can benefit from free trade with the EU depends on whether or not Georgian products can gain market share in Europe (and/or whether Georgian producers will be willing to invest in expensive EU-targeted marketing and branding efforts).

The answer to this question is far from obvious. For example, considering the state of Georgia’s dairy sector – Georgia does not have enough fresh milk to supply its own industry – the country is very unlikely to export significant quantities of cheese and yogurts (to EU or any other region, for that matter). On the other hand, given that traditional Georgian products such as wine, mineral water and tea, are well established brands in much of the vast post-Soviet space, Georgian producers have rather weak incentives to explore other markets. This point is very well illustrated by the current state of Georgia’s wine industry."

Thanks, Simon, I could not agree more. I certainly agree with you that eventually Georgia will be able to diversify the structure of its exports, not in the least thanks to international companies operating in the Georgian market (Ferrero and Hipp being just two obvious examples). The DCFTA includes duty free export provision for quite a number of other ag products,not just alcohol. Here is what we wrote on this very subject a year ago, on the eve of signing the DCFTA (http://www.iset.ge/blog/?p=3329): "Georgia already enjoys low tariff barriers in trading with Europe subject to EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+). Thus, Georgia faces zero duties on about 75% of all tariff lines. Yet, Georgia’s ability to take advantage of GSP+ treatment has been extremely limited. In 2013, the country’s total exports to the EU stood at USD 608mln (21% of Georgia’s total exports), of which about $231mln enjoyed GSP+ preferences. Hazelnuts accounted for almost 60% of total GSP+ exports. Other GSP+ exports were fertilizer, ferroalloys and apple concentrate. DCFTA will abolish tariffs for 100% of product categories, including agricultural products that are of potential interest for Georgian exporters such as wine, cheese, live animals, sheep and goat meat, yogurt, chocolate, animal skins and wool (which have not be covered by GSP+ preferences), berries, fruit and vegetables (included canned and processed), and fruit juices (which enjoyed from partial preferences under GSP+). While this seems like a significant improvement, the extent to which Georgia can benefit from free trade with the EU depends on whether or not Georgian products can gain market share in Europe (and/or whether Georgian producers will be willing to invest in expensive EU-targeted marketing and branding efforts). The answer to this question is far from obvious. For example, considering the state of Georgia’s dairy sector – Georgia does not have enough fresh milk to supply its own industry – the country is very unlikely to export significant quantities of cheese and yogurts (to EU or any other region, for that matter). On the other hand, given that traditional Georgian products such as wine, mineral water and tea, are well established brands in much of the vast post-Soviet space, Georgian producers have rather weak incentives to explore other markets. This point is very well illustrated by the current state of Georgia’s wine industry."
Guest - Eric Livny on Saturday, 23 May 2015 20:42

I should add that above anything else the Riga summit exposes the faulty nature of the entire Eastern Partnership construct. Essentially, this is a road with no end, something the Russian commentators have been only happy to point out in recent days. Without Russia (and, ultimately, without China) it is a divisive concept, designed to tear apart the post-Soviet space. It is ridden with conflict and contradictions, producing exaggerated expectations (in e.g. Georgia and Ukraine) and fears (in Russia).

I should add that above anything else the Riga summit exposes the faulty nature of the entire Eastern Partnership construct. Essentially, this is a road with no end, something the Russian commentators have been only happy to point out in recent days. Without Russia (and, ultimately, without China) it is a divisive concept, designed to tear apart the post-Soviet space. It is ridden with conflict and contradictions, producing exaggerated expectations (in e.g. Georgia and Ukraine) and fears (in Russia).
Guest - Alexander on Monday, 22 June 2015 16:09

You wrote: "Russia simplified the process of issuing visas for Georgian citizens, and the Russian labor market opened for another wave of Georgian labor migration". Can you quote ant facts to confirn ths statement?

You wrote: "Russia simplified the process of issuing visas for Georgian citizens, and the Russian labor market opened for another wave of Georgian labor migration". Can you quote ant facts to confirn ths statement?
Guest - Eric Livny on Monday, 22 June 2015 16:15

Here is a direct quote from Kapanadze's chapter (full reference in the body of text, see above):
"The Russian labor market is therefore very attractive for Georgians. In
the last three years Russia gradually simplified visa regulations for Georgian
citizens. Russia introduced a visa regime for Georgia in 2000 and has not
removed it since then due to bad political relations between Tbilisi and Moscow.
This happened despite the Georgian side removing visa requirements
for Russian citizens in 2012.249 In 2013, after the change of Georgia’s Government,
Russia simplified visa rules for journalists, scientists, and businessmen.
Before 2013 a Russian citizen could only invite their closest relatives residing
in Georgia, while after 2013 changes for the circle of relatives was expanded.
Visa regulations were also softened for trade operators. According to Russia’s
deputy minister Gregory Karasin, the number of visas issued to Georgians
increased by 40 percent in 2013. Zurab Abashidze, Mr. Karasin’s interlocutor
in bilateral talks also confirmed in early 2014 that Russia had simplified
the process of issuing visas for the citizens of Georgia and more Georgians
traveled to Russia as a result."

There are additional footnotes and sources in the text...

Here is a direct quote from Kapanadze's chapter (full reference in the body of text, see above): "The Russian labor market is therefore very attractive for Georgians. In the last three years Russia gradually simplified visa regulations for Georgian citizens. Russia introduced a visa regime for Georgia in 2000 and has not removed it since then due to bad political relations between Tbilisi and Moscow. This happened despite the Georgian side removing visa requirements for Russian citizens in 2012.249 In 2013, after the change of Georgia’s Government, Russia simplified visa rules for journalists, scientists, and businessmen. Before 2013 a Russian citizen could only invite their closest relatives residing in Georgia, while after 2013 changes for the circle of relatives was expanded. Visa regulations were also softened for trade operators. According to Russia’s deputy minister Gregory Karasin, the number of visas issued to Georgians increased by 40 percent in 2013. Zurab Abashidze, Mr. Karasin’s interlocutor in bilateral talks also confirmed in early 2014 that Russia had simplified the process of issuing visas for the citizens of Georgia and more Georgians traveled to Russia as a result." There are additional footnotes and sources in the text...
Guest - Alexander on Monday, 22 June 2015 16:54

Thank you for this very welcome news... However "Russian labor market opened for another wave of Georgian labor migration" seems like a huge exaggeration, if not plainly incorrect. According to Mr. Karasin's statement of 2015, only 22 thousand Russian visas were granted to Georgians in 2014. This is higher than in previous yeas, but far from being a "wave". These visas are given only for private visits (relatives), businessmen, journalists, students. No labor migrants from Georgia at all are allowed to Russia. I hope this correction is useful.

Thank you for this very welcome news... However "Russian labor market opened for another wave of Georgian labor migration" seems like a huge exaggeration, if not plainly incorrect. According to Mr. Karasin's statement of 2015, only 22 thousand Russian visas were granted to Georgians in 2014. This is higher than in previous yeas, but far from being a "wave". These visas are given only for private visits (relatives), businessmen, journalists, students. No labor migrants from Georgia at all are allowed to Russia. I hope this correction is useful.
Guest - Eric Livny on Monday, 22 June 2015 18:19

Alexander, this is not a "huge exaggeration". Visits for members of the extended family (and not only the closest relatives) is a great opening for people to do seasonal work in Russia. The size of the Georgian diaspora in Russia is such that practically any Georgian would have a relative or two to visit. Many people use the opportunity. For instance, as I've recently learned from my interviews in Kakheti, many Georgians are now working in Chechnia and the North Caucasus. Mostly in construction. As they say, the North Caucasus is full of money. On Friday last week I saw the line next to the Russian consulate in Vake. It is anything but short.

Today's situation is also a huge improvement over 2006, when Russia expelled thousands of ethnic Georgians as part of the spying scandal. As Kapanadze says, subject to certain conditions being met, Russia would even consider the establishment of visa free travel for Georgians. Here is another quote:

"Russia still has a serious soft power card up its sleeve – full removal
of visa requirement for Georgians. This could potentially trigger increased
migration of Georgians to Russia. However, Russia uses this instrument as
an incentive to force Georgia to restore diplomatic ties. As Karasin noted
in an interview in 2012 it was “absurd” to talk about visa free agreements
with Georgia, as Georgia and Russia had no diplomatic ties. For Russia, the
absence of diplomatic relations with Georgia remains a serious political problem,
since it shows how its policy of ethnic division failed and how Georgia
was “lost” to the West because of Russia’s inability to solve Tbilisi’s territorial
problems with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

However, the fact that a full removal of visa requirement could seriously
change Georgia’s attitude is well recognized in Moscow. In December
2013 Vladimir Putin, in a brief commentary to the press, allowed the possibility
of full visa-free travel for Georgians. This was immediately commended in
Tbilisi by Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, and chief negotiator with Russia
Zurab Abashidze. What needs to be noted is the context in which Putin
made his remarks. The President of Russia stated that “he sees signals coming
from the Government of Georgia” and that restoration of visa-free travel
would contribute to the “fundamental final normalization of relations”.
Russia could also be using visa-free travel as a counter-balance to visa liberalization with the
EU. As is widely believed, Georgia will soon receive visa-free travel opportunities
from the European Union. Russia could be waiting for this to counter
with its own soft power instrument.

Alexander, this is not a "huge exaggeration". Visits for members of the extended family (and not only the closest relatives) is a great opening for people to do seasonal work in Russia. The size of the Georgian diaspora in Russia is such that practically any Georgian would have a relative or two to visit. Many people use the opportunity. For instance, as I've recently learned from my interviews in Kakheti, many Georgians are now working in Chechnia and the North Caucasus. Mostly in construction. As they say, the North Caucasus is full of money. On Friday last week I saw the line next to the Russian consulate in Vake. It is anything but short. Today's situation is also a huge improvement over 2006, when Russia expelled thousands of ethnic Georgians as part of the spying scandal. As Kapanadze says, subject to certain conditions being met, Russia would even consider the establishment of visa free travel for Georgians. Here is another quote: "Russia still has a serious soft power card up its sleeve – full removal of visa requirement for Georgians. This could potentially trigger increased migration of Georgians to Russia. However, Russia uses this instrument as an incentive to force Georgia to restore diplomatic ties. As Karasin noted in an interview in 2012 it was “absurd” to talk about visa free agreements with Georgia, as Georgia and Russia had no diplomatic ties. For Russia, the absence of diplomatic relations with Georgia remains a serious political problem, since it shows how its policy of ethnic division failed and how Georgia was “lost” to the West because of Russia’s inability to solve Tbilisi’s territorial problems with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, the fact that a full removal of visa requirement could seriously change Georgia’s attitude is well recognized in Moscow. In December 2013 Vladimir Putin, in a brief commentary to the press, allowed the possibility of full visa-free travel for Georgians. This was immediately commended in Tbilisi by Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, and chief negotiator with Russia Zurab Abashidze. What needs to be noted is the context in which Putin made his remarks. The President of Russia stated that “he sees signals coming from the Government of Georgia” and that restoration of visa-free travel would contribute to the “fundamental final normalization of relations”. Russia could also be using visa-free travel as a counter-balance to visa liberalization with the EU. As is widely believed, Georgia will soon receive visa-free travel opportunities from the European Union. Russia could be waiting for this to counter with its own soft power instrument.
Guest - Alexander on Monday, 22 June 2015 19:53

As I said, this is excellent news, if more Georgians can travel to Russia. But if you talking about labor migration, the it will be considered illegal by Russian authorities, since people cannot be legally hired if they have visas for a private visit.

As I said, this is excellent news, if more Georgians can travel to Russia. But if you talking about labor migration, the it will be considered illegal by Russian authorities, since people cannot be legally hired if they have visas for a private visit.
Already Registered? Login Here
Register
Guest
Friday, 23 June 2017

Captcha Image

Our Partners