WiP: Challenges in EU-Georgia Trade Relations

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are proud to present the 16th talk of the Spring 2019 Works-in-Progress Series!

“When things don’t work out as expected: The EU’s consultation mechanisms on trade issues in Georgia”

By Diana Potjomkina, United Nations University – CRIS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University

Date: June 5, 2019, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The EU has established consultation mechanisms in the framework of “new generation” free trade agreements, which foresee active participation of both European and partner countries’ stakeholders. The idea of the European Commission is that trade unions, employers, as well as environmental and other organizations on both sides will work together in order to monitor the impact of trade on sustainable development, and will provide recommendations to their respective governments. However, while the Commission invests significant administrative and financial resources in the promotion of these consultation mechanisms, reality, especially in the partner countries, is often far from the expected. In my research, I use the “decentring” approach to explain, why the EU’s ideas about stakeholder participation in policy-making are not always applicable to the Georgian context, how consultations actually take place in Georgia, and why.

*Decentring approach: “an analytical framework to systematically open up for difference, and to see and understand dynamics and realities that go beyond dominant Eurocentric accounts” (Keukeleire & Lecocq, 2018)

Diana Potjomkina is a PhD researcher affiliated with the United Nations University – CRIS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University, focusing on multistakeholderism in international trade governance. Previously, she worked as a research fellow at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, a lecturer at the Riga Stradins University, and a project manager and advisor for the European Movement – Latvia where she is currently a board member. She also served as expert for three opinions of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and alternate for a member of the EESC. Diana obtained Master’s degree in International Relations from Riga Stradins University (with distinction), and was a Fulbright Visiting PhD Student Researcher at the George Mason University (Washington, DC metropolitan area).

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the CRRC office at 5 Chkhikvadze Str. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

PRIVACY POLICY: In order to assure the free and open discussion of ideas and sensitive issues, unless otherwise specified the WiP series holds to the Chatham House Rule: participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed, without the explicit permission of said speaker(s) or participant(s) in the press or other public media. Journalists may attend the sessions, but the contents are not for publication or broadcast without the explicit permission of the speaker(s). This is to enable all involved to openly discuss their views in private while allowing the topic and nature of the debate to be made public and contribute to the broader scholarly and academic conversation.