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EU Integration Coordination in Georgia: Evolution of the Coordination Model and Contingent Factors

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The paper compiles a single case study on the national EU integration coordination in Georgia since 1991 to date. The paper aims to ground Georgia’s case in the existing academic literature with a detailed case description and testing of the EU integration coordination mechanisms in Georgia based on theories and models in the PA literature. Georgia’s coordination mechanisms are assessed against external incentives, such as ‘socialisation’ v. ‘conditionality’ (Schimmelfennig, 2009), and classified in terms of Kassim’s (2003) system of national coordination. The paper describes five distinct periods in the evolution of EU integration coordination formats: the first encounter (1991-1999); the silhouettes of coordination (1999-2004); the deliberate coordination (2004-2014); the pragmatic coordination (2014-2022) and the coordination limbo (2022 to date). EU integration coordination structures from 2004 to 2014 are likened to a comprehensive centraliser - with the centre being the driving force of the entire coordination process, with all the issues or thematic areas being depicted in respective planning documents. Since 2014, the country’s approach has been compared to that of a selective centraliser, since Georgia shows signs of selectiveness in its ambitions to deliver on a nationally agreed EU policy outcome. The paper finds that, unlike prevalent patterns in EU integration coordination, the relative stagnation of the EU coordination process happens after the accession; in Georgia, this has occurred during the onset of the conditionality stage, which makes this an outlier case. In assessing the reasons for the weakening of the process of coordination, this case supports findings that the actor-centric approach is vital to explaining the coordination efforts (Dimitrova & Toshkov, 2007; Fink-Hafner, 2013). The paper concludes that a significant improvement of existing EU integration coordination structures is needed to build a comprehensive approach, reinforced with horizontal coordination and networking, to construct an agreed and inclusive EU integration coordination.

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Sujets de la revue:
Social Sciences, Political Science, Local Government and Administration