During the review period, the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party, led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, secured a third term in parliamentary elections and consolidated its power. GD now holds control over all state levels, including the judiciary. Despite grassroots protests, no new political forces emerged and CD asserts itself as the sole legitimate representative of state interests. The political landscape is marked by manipulation, marginalization of civil society and suppression of dissent.

Georgia’s generally positive economic development falls short of raising income per capita and improving overall well-being. The influx of Russian business and capital in 2022 boosted Georgia’s currency and generated an economic boom but increased Georgia’s reliance on Russia.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war against Ukraine exposed Georgia’s leadership ambivalence. Despite condemning Russia at the United Nations, Georgia refrained from imposing sanctions on Russia. The prospect of EU accession is clouded by the European Commission’s demand for twelve points of political reform to catch up with Ukraine and Moldova in candidate status.

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