Legal approximation to the EU Environmental Acquis under the Association Agreement

The historic Agreement of Association between the European Union (EU), its member states and
Georgia, signed in 2014, created a new legal approach to EU-Georgian relations. This was
accomplished by determining specific obligatory measures for Georgia in terms of “adjusting policies
to align with the EU Acquis in various socio-economic dimensions. This naturally implies the
introduction of new European standards and practices, which inevitably leads to important legislative
initiatives. To this extent, obtaining a clear view on the process of transposition is crucially important
in assessing three years of progress.

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Why the Relations with the EU is Significant for Georgia?

The power of attraction of the European Union is increasing. Some authors have argued that the EU is a normative power, civilian power, and invisible superpower. If taken into account that EU was purely economic unity in the beginning, it will be clear that EU has been metamorphosed. The explanation of its transformation is rooted in its working system. The idea of EU was based on the theory of spillover effect. It means that states’ one economic sector integration created its integration in further sectors in order to fulfill and make their relationship more efficient. The way how EU works is attractive for many states. Especially for small, post-communist states like Georgia. Nowadays Georgia’s one of the main foreign policy is European integration. It has already made several steps to achieve this with the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). Georgia is an important partner for the EU both within the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and its eastern dimension under the Eastern Partnership (EaP).

This paper poses a question: Why European integration is important for Georgia, while it has problematic neighbor Russia, which is one of the main opponent of this movement and which can cause serious political problems for the state? Liberal intergovernmentalism will be suitable to explain the policy of Georgia and its benefits from this. This paper argues that since the formation of the common security and defense cooperation, Europe turned into the “Visible Superpower” by developing permanent security structure (PESCO) attracting external countries including Georgia.

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