The Georgian people will prevail
For Georgian Dream, it has always been about having and keeping power. This is why it did not shy away from breaking the hard-won Charles Michel Agreement and from rejecting the EU’s macro-financial assistance.
But it has always been afraid of the true threat to their power – the people.
This is why their actions have been both confusing and two-faced, on the one hand pleasing a Russia-backed oligarch by slowly – but systematically – moving Georgia away from its democratic path, and on the other hand, continuing to reiterate their commitment to Georgia’s European integration.
Attempting to walk a fine line between the two, Georgian Dream has been regularly testing boundaries. This law was yet another test of public tolerance over their efforts to steer Georgia towards Russia.
Luckily, they’ve failed. Again.
They failed in 2019 when street protests led to the resignation of the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, after he allowed Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov to take his seat in the Georgian Parliament. They failed last year when the prime minister changed his mind and signed off on the application for EU membership after seeing large-scale protests unfolding in the streets of Tbilisi. And they failed in every attempt to deter Georgians from uniting with the Ukrainians in their fight against Russia, on the frontline and at home.
As President Zelensky noted already a year ago: ‘There are times when citizens are not the government, but better than the government.’ Today, this is clearly the case with Georgia. The Georgian people have also now convinced President Macron that Georgia belongs as part of the EU, while several months ago he stated that Georgia was in a ‘different place geopolitically’.
Georgia may lack strong democratic institutions but the will of the people has prevailed repeatedly in the highest spirit of democracy and European values.
People like the woman mentioned at the very beginning of this commentary, who stood bravely in front of the water cannons and police intimidation, are proudly waving the EU flag as a reminder that Georgia’s European future does not belong to the government or any political party. It belongs to the Georgian people – and no one can ever take that away from them.