New Security Architecture in Europe and its impact on Georgia – one year since European Perspective

New Security Architecture in Europe and its impact on Georgia – one year since European Perspective

Tbilisi, Georgia 15 June, 2023 Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel Tbilisi

The conference aims to support the dialogue and embolden discussion over the upcoming cornerstone events for Georgia – assessment from the European Union in the fall to be followed by Council’s decision on the Candidate Status and the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius.

In the course of two panels, we will try to assess the situation after exactly a year since the European Council granted Georgia European Perspective and issued conditions based on 12 point recommendation plan for further advance to the candidate status.

Since last June, rather complicated and eventful processes have taken place that we all have witnessed. There were several action plans elaborated for achieving the best results, lots of consultations and negotiations. Accordingly, several reports are produced by various groups of CSOs assessing the process and recommending further policy change. We aim to gather all those stakeholders under one roof to share their findings in an attempt to synchronize all recommendations and support the process of realizing Georgia’s European dream.

With the launch of the series of discussions, we propose to explore, analyze and discuss the essence of European integration beyond formal procedures. We must profoundly agree on the fundamental values and principles the modern, European Georgian state should be built on. Similarly to 104 years ago, when the founders of the first Georgian Republic surprised the world with their courage and faithfulness to the beliefs of liberal democracy, Georgian elites of today need to find strength and devotion to principles of freedom, democracy, justice, solidarity, equality, human rights, and human dignity.

However, before we get to the fall’23, there is a NATO Vilnius summit at the doorsteps. Different from the EU-related debates, there is not much information available or any public dialogue related to the Vilnius summit. What is it to expect? What is it Georgian government tries to achieve? Where do we stand on the road to NATO membership? These are all legitimate questions and we should have a frank dialogue with both government and our international allies.

On the 30th of May, 2022, we gathered all the stakeholders and discussed the new security architecture of Europe and its implications for Georgia. We also discussed how the Russian war against Ukraine brought the nearly entire civilized world together and paved the way for entirely new security narratives, opportunities, and visions for cooperation and integration. This year, we want to assess the state of affairs in Georgia and, more significantly, determine whether the reforms that have been made are enough to qualify Georgia for the candidate status and how will these hectic events happening in the modern world shape Georgia’s future?

Main takeaways from the conference

  • Advancing Georgia’s Partnership with the EU and NATO on the road to membership;
  • Where do we stand after one year since gaining a European Perspective;
  • Exploring Georgia’s Role in Strengthening Regional Security;
  • Towards greater synergy amongst countries in EU enlargement pull;
  • The future prospects of Georgia -Ukraine -Moldova (“Association trio”) partnership.


Civic IDEA’s report “China’s “Wolf Warrior” Policy in the Media – the Case of Georgia”

Civic IDEA’s report “China’s “Wolf Warrior” Policy in the Media – the Case of Georgia”

Civic IDEA is happy to share with you a new report on the CCP’s influence activities in the Georgian media. The objective of the research is to analyze the degree of Chinese influence on the Georgian media, both traditional and so-called new media, in the context of the strategy of the Chinese Communist Party through both content and systemic analysis. The media report portrays how China is covered in the Georgian media and how the strategic mission of the Chinese Communist Party is fulfilled – with propaganda and tactical approaches on the “cultural front” to achieve the formation of public opinion in the form desired by the Chinese Communist Party and later, to use it for leverage over various stakeholders or establish control. At the same time, the systematic media analysis aimed to examine the share of the People’s Republic of China and its affiliated business actors in both media ownership and the advertising market.

The report was created in cooperation with the Journalism Resource Center.

For more information, you can download the report here 👇

Civic IDEA’s Workshop “Why China Matters?  The Case of Georgia” in Kazakhstan

On April 24, Civic IDEA, in cooperation with the Kazakh partner organization “Zertteu Research Institute” organized a workshop, “Why China Matters?  The Case of Georgia”, gathering 16 journalists, experts and researchers, and activists from CSOs in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The event covered the following topics:

  • Why China matters? – general context
  • Chinese leverage on Georgia’s economic, political, and academic sectors
  • Chinese Influence on Media (including fake news, methods to cope with Disinformation)

The main goal of the workshop was to encourage an active discussion and productive exchange of opinions and experiences between Georgian and Kazakhstani colleagues.

Civic IDEA talks at National Endowment for Democracy

On April 13, Civic IDEA contributed to the National Endowment for Democracy’s roundtable on Georgia, current challenges, foreign policy trajectories and the role of civil society in a captured state:
CSO as a Remnant of Democracy in a Captured State: The Case of Georgia

Georgia has struggled to create a modern, European sovereign state for 30 years. The journey was rough, full of well-crafted obstructions built by Russia through violent interference or by fueling domestic conflicts. Since Russia’s brutal aggression in Ukraine started, politics in Georgia have become even uglier. The government in Tbilisi proved to be absolutely unable to operate under pressure and gave up the fight. There is a general agreement that there is a Georgia blueprint modeled after the Kremlin used by the government in Tbilisi in dealing with media, NGOs, expert community, and, more generally, all active citizens aimed at discrediting them, thus neutralizing from vibrant public life. It is all happening parallel to unprecedented opportunities for EU integration. It looks as if the Georgian government does all for not allowing progress on the European path. Over the last year and a half, we have forced the government to change or withdraw multiple outrageous decisions due to the resilience of civil society and massive peaceful protests.

It is also essential to notice that Russia is not the only player in Georgia anymore, causing worries for civil society. Year after another, China emerged as a core partner and model friend of the Georgian government. All the warning signs are enshrined in dozens of MoU, decisions, and friendly exchanges. While Georgian civil society tried its best to navigate the rather tricky and frequently dangerous environment, we constantly seek expertise, advice, and discussion with our partners and friends in search of better choices and alternatives. Abandoned by the government for the third time, we search for an answer to whether Georgian civil society can change the course of developments in Georgia once again.

Civic IDEA’s RT at Hoover Institution

On April 11, “Hoover Institution On War, Revolution And Peace”, together with “Freemen Spogli Institute”, hosted a Roundtable at Stanford University, California, US, where the Civic IDEA team discussed the relevant topics related to the PRC’s influence strategies in Georgia:
“PRC as an alternative to Russia in Georgia – Leverage on Investments and Academia”

China’s global influence has been increasing over the past few decades, driven by its rapidly growing economy, expanding diplomatic and cultural outreach, and ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. Georgia is among those countries that see the PRC as an alternative to Russia, especially amid the war in Ukraine. It has been actively engaged in BRI, signed FTA with China and considers the further expansion of its role as a transit hub in the Middle Corridor initiative, which supposedly will attract more Chinese money to the country. Although Georgia is not yet the victim of PRC’s “debt trap diplomacy”, almost all the state’s critical infrastructure projects are led by notorious and internationally blacklisted companies, winning the state’s procurement bids. Thus, no ground is left for Western companies to firmly establish themselves in Georgia’s economic sector and attract further Western investments. This occasion limits the diversification of financial partners and puts the PRC state-operated and dubious companies in a priority position, hence making Georgia less attractive to the European market. The domination of Chinese companies within the BRI in Georgia’s infrastructure market has caused indignation among some EU member states’ ambassadors in Georgia. We remember Polish Ambassador in Georgia complaining about Georgia prioritizing Chinese companies over European ones. But in the end, everybody from the government again turns a blind eye to European criticism and stays ignorant about the Chinese firms continuously winning state procurements.

PRC has also been actively promoting cultural and educational exchanges between the two countries, establishing multiple Confucius institutes and classrooms in almost every university and higher education institution in Georgia, strengthening the role of the Georgia-China Friendship Association, providing generous scholarships to Georgian students, actively encouraging exchanges and funding in the fields of research and science and promoting dual partnerships between academic institutions. Within the framework of these academic exchanges, several shady characteristics have been identified, threatening Georgia’s national security in a broader context. Firstly, some of the Chinese universities that are involved in various international and dual partnerships with their Georgian counterparts are suspected of carrying very high, high and medium security risks due to their involvement with the PLA, cyber espionage, military research activities and engagement with other PRC’s defense entities. Secondly, the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement (legal entity of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia) has no control over the study program and legal status of the Confucius Institutes mistrusted and shut by the Western societies. Thirdly, Georgian alumni with Chinese university degrees usually promote the PRC endeavors and vision of the world locally affecting the mindset and perception of Georgian society largely. At last, the National Academy of Sciences is blindly exchanging information and staff with Chinese entities on the basis of contracts that are regulated by the laws of the PRC and may be easily exploited by the Chinese authorities.

An attempt to show the EU’s unity in relations with China – Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen in Beijing

From April 5-8, 2023, world’s media focused on Beijing, where French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with senior officials from the People’s Republic of China, including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang. Given the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and rising tensions in Sino-American relations, this state visit was thought-provoking. What were the main goals, issues, and outcomes of the visit? I will try to answer these and other questions in this blog.

EU-China Relations and Europe’s Strategic autonomy

No to decoupling, yes to de-risking

Russia-Ukraine War

Taiwan issue

Other important results of the visit


In conclusion, we can say that the joint visit of Macron and Leyen to China was an attempt by European leaders to show their unity with regard to the EU’s foreign policy towards Beijing. It is true that on some issues, Macron acted more like a “good cop”, while Ursula chose a “bad cop” stance and at times criticized Chinese policy on several issues, including Taiwan and human rights in the Xinjiang region. However, the two EU leaders did manage to agree on two key messages: On the Russia-Ukraine war, they told President Xi that arming Russia would significantly damage EU-China relations and China should be actively involved in ending the war. Regarding EU-China relations, their message was that the EU does not follow the U.S. strategy of “decoupling” and prefers to “de-risk” from China. Time will tell if this strategy is effective or not.

Giorgi Khachidze Author of the Blog, Intern, Civic IDEA

The China Index: Measuring PRC Influence Around The Globe

The Hoover Project on China’s Global Sharp Power –  The China Index: Measuring PRC Influence Around the Globe on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 9:00 AM PT | 12:00 PM ET.

The China Index is the first cross-regional project to objectively measure and visualize China’s overseas influence through comparable data. This event brings together report contributors from Bogota, Berlin, Tblisi, and Taipei, who will analyze the PRC’s influence campaigns in their regions, from Latin America to Germany to Central Asia.


Puma Shen is an associate professor at National Taipei University, the chairperson of Doublethink Lab and vice president of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), focusing heavily on disinformation and local tracking of privacy violations. He was a lawyer, and an expert in white-collar crime, including state crime, disinformation campaigns, and financial crime. His publications analyze Chinese information operations in Taiwan and the U.S., and he is now investigating United Front activities in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Didi Kirsten Tatlow is a sinologist and journalist. A graduate of the Beijing Language Institute (语言学院) and SOAS, University of London, she began her journalistic career in 1994 at the Hong Kong Standard, later moving to the Associated Press and the New York Times, among others, and winning multiple awards. After leaving China in 2017 she worked for think tanks in Berlin and Prague before returning to journalism in 2022 as a Senior Reporter for International Affairs at Newsweek magazine. She is an editor and author of Beyond Espionage: China’s Quest for Foreign Technology.

Parsifal D’Sola Alvarado is the founder and executive director of the Andres Bello Foundation—China Latin America Research Center in Bogotá, Colombia. He is a Chinese foreign policy analyst specializing in Sino-Latin American relations, and a non-resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Global China Hub. Between 2019 and 2020, he acted as Chinese foreign policy advisor to the foreign affairs minister of the Interim Government of Venezuela. He holds a BS in Telecommunications Engineering from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, an MA in East Asian Studies from Columbia University, and an MSc in International Politics from SOAS, University of London.

Tinatin Khidasheli chairs Civic IDEA, a think-thank fighting the Soviet legacy in Georgia, confronting Russian propaganda, and advocating for sound defense and security policy. She served as the first female minister of defense of Georgia, and chaired the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration as well as the Inquiry Commission into Violations of Freedom of Speech and Telecommunication laws at the Parliament of Georgia. She holds a LLM in international law from Tbilisi State University and a MA in political science from Central European University.

Glenn Tiffert is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a historian of modern China. He co-chairs the Hoover project on China’s Global Sharp Power and works closely with government and civil society partners to document and build resilience against authoritarian interference with democratic institutions. Most recently, he co-authored and edited Global Engagement: Rethinking Risk in the Research Enterprise (2020).

Civic IDEA’s statement regarding the problems on Rikoti path

Read report 👇

Expectations and Projections for 2024 parliamentary elections in Georgia

We are happy to share with you a discussion paper written by our chairwoman Tinatin Khidasheli about the expectations for the 2024 parliamentary elections. She argues that based on election data for the last 10 years, the “Georgian Dream” party (the ruling party in Georgia) as a single party has no chance of winning the proportional vote. This article contains facts and unmistakable data proving that, even by Georgian “normal” standards, winning an election and independently forming a government by the Georgian dream is impossible. She also provides some scenarios for the developments before the elections.

This is the first article in the series of discussion papers Civic IDEA will publish before the 2024 parliamentary vote.

For the full paper, please visit 👇

Friends With(out) Limits: key takeaways from Putin – Xi Jinping meeting

On March 20, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping embarked on his first visit to Russia since the beginning of the Ukraine war. The three-day visit conveyed significant signals to the international community and highlighted the burgeoning partnership between the two powers.

Here are some key takeaways from the meeting:

The warm meeting between the two leaders that took place despite these implications is a message in and of itself.

The Ukraine War

Economic and Energy Cooperation


“New Era of Cooperation”

International Response


In conclusion, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia has clearly shown his support for Vladimir Putin and the strengthening partnership between the two countries. The meeting highlighted close economic ties and cooperation in the energy and military sectors, as well as shared concerns over NATO’s growing military-security relations with the Asia-Pacific region. The invitation extended by Xi to the Russian Prime Minister during the visit is also indicative of the deepening cooperation between the two nations.

Nutsa Dzandzava – Author of the Blog, Intern, Civic IDEA