Georgia in European Discourses: An Austrian Perspective.

Johann Wolfschwenger

For the past several years, Georgia has been a ‘model student’ of EU integration. The country'sfirm pro-European stance contributed to the signing of the Association Agreement (AA) withthe EU in 2014. However, Georgia’s European aspirations are not always adequately reflectedwithin the EU. This has created a gap between EU member states' perceptions about Georgia’sEU integration and the domestic discourse in Georgia. In an effort to bridge this gap, this policy memo identifies the preferences and perceptions in Austria that determine its position towards Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. It raises the question whether Austria should beseen as an advocate or a sceptic of Georgia’s EU membership aspirations. The first section uses a historical-institutionalist lens to explore Austria’s position towards European security architecture in general. The second section discusses Austria’s position within the EU withregards to the EaP as well as bilateral relations between Austria and Georgia. The third sectionoffers a glimpse of Austria’s domestic politics after the parliamentary elections (2017) andevaluates their impact on the country's foreign policy towards the neighbourhood.

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This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722826.