Europeanization of Georgia and Changes in Labour Relations

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university, Faculty of social and political sciences
Georgia signed the Association Agreement with the European Union in 2014, laying the groundwork for significant institutional changes in the country. These changes are reflected in the commitments that Georgia must fulfill over a period of time in order to bring governance and the political agenda closer to EU standards. In the study of Europeanization, which covers the last three decades of EU enlargement, documents such as the Association Agreement are perceived as a kind of "intermediate" agreement between the EU and another country. In this way, the state must "download" the norms of political relations of the EU (Flockhart, 2008) (Ladrech, 1994), the EU also has various mechanisms to ensure the implementation of responsibilities from the targeted state (Schimmelfenning, 2015) (Grabbe, 2006) (Schimmelfenning, Scholz, 2008). Our research task is to study the Europeanization of Georgia in the context of labor relations, given that the implementation of labor relations reforms is one of the obligations of Georgia under the agreement. From 2003 to 2012, the Georgian government often relied on a libertarian agenda in economics and public policy, but soon after the government change in 2012, the new team that came to power was given important tasks by the Association Agreement. If in 2003-2012 the state largely avoided responsibility in labor relations and gave more freedom to businesses, since 2014 this trend has changed. Therefore, the changes we are going to study are a kind of "reversal" from neoliberalism to a more responsible state. To further narrow our focus, we will look at the legal changes that affected labor law during the post-association agreement, and we believe that conducting a qualitative study will lead to significant results. Therefore, we find it interesting to discuss the changes in the context of Europeanization that have affected the field of labor relations in Georgia, to discover the achievements and limits of this process.
Theory of Europeanization, Labour Relations, European Union, Association Agreement