Jeanne CAVELIER: "Georgia is moving further and further away from satisfactory press freedom, and therefore from democracy and EU path"

23.15.2024 (Caucasian Journal). Our guest today is Jeanne CAVELIER, head of Eastern Europe & Central Asia Desk at Reporters Without Borders (
Jeanne Cavelier
Photo: RSF/Manon Levet
Reporters sans frontières, RSF). Previously Ms. Cavelier worked for renowned French newspapers such as L’Opinion and Le Monde.

 ქართულად: Read the Georgian version here.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  Dear Jeanne, welcome to the Caucasian Journal, thank you for attention to our readers. This year's Press Freedom Day was not a proud moment for Georgia. According to the fresh edition of your World Press Freedom Index, our press freedom has declined by 43 positions in three years: From the 60th position in 2021 to 103 this year. Your Index has been shedding light on press freedom since 2002. How precise is it in general, and how alarming is Georgia’s decline, compared to other countries?

Jeanne CAVELIER: Georgia is moving further and further away from a satisfactory press freedom environment, and therefore from democracy and its path of the EU. It is now ranked 103rd out of 180 countries, and changed categories in our last edition, moving from a “problematic” situation for press freedom to a “difficult” one. The trend is worrying: No other country in the region (Caucasus, Turkey and Russia) has fallen as much as Georgia in the ranking for 10 years. RSF Index relies on a solid methodology to compare diverse situations in 180 countries and covers all areas of press freedom. It is based on an analysis of 5 indicators: political context, legal framework, economic context, socio-cultural context and security. The lowest scores of Georgia are political and economic ones. It shows a growing authoritarianism. Press freedom is being threatened by the very people who should be its guarantors - the political authorities. That’s a worrying trend we observe worldwide this year. The low score of Georgia for the economic context is in particular due to a lack of ownership transparency and editorial independence of the media outlets. 

The trend is worrying: No other country in the region has fallen as much as Georgia in the ranking for 10 years.

Thomas HACKER, Bundestag: “Candidate status was granted to Georgian people, not to the government” (watch video or read)

Thomas Hacker
21.05.2024 (Caucasian Journal). Mr. Thomas HACKER, a Member of the German Bundestag (Federal Parliament), gave an exclusive video interview to the Caucasian Journal.  He recently returned from a visit to Tbilisi with a German parliamentary delegation.

You may watch the video below or read the full text - further below.  This interview is also available in Georgian language version.

 ქართულად: Video subtitled in Georgian is here. Georgian text version is here.

To be the first to view exclusive interviews, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel


The text version of interview is below:

THOMAS HACKER: “CANDIDATE STATUS WAS GRANTED TO GEORGIAN PEOPLE, NOT TO THE GOVERNMENT”

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ: Dear Mr. Hacker, welcome to the Caucasian Journal, thank you for attention to our readers. In the Bundestag you represent Bavaria, but it seems you have also a genuine interest in Georgia.  How did you become interested in our country?

Thomas HACKER: In the Bundestag, which I attend for almost seven years now, I'm member of Committee on European Affairs and I'm the spokesman of my parliamentary group. Therefore within my obligations are countries that are part of enlargement process.  Whenever I come to a country I try to not only to meet the politicians but also the civil society, young people especially. 

Georgia is an important country in a very difficult neighborhood.

In my first visit in Georgia I found a genuine interest, of younger people especially, in becoming member of European community. I also learned about Georgian life, food, wine with is long tradition, so I came back again and again to Georgia. And I hope that my recent trip will not be the last.  We are planning two more visits. Georgia is an important country in a very difficult neighborhood, and I fear that the pressure from Russia is very high on the government. But we - as Germany and the EU - have to show faith in Georgia.

Parliament told us that they could not  guarantee our safety within the Parliament building, so political talks could not take place.

AK: Can you comment on the results of your visit?

TH: Our delegation was one of the Committee on Culture and Media. For two years now we have a close connection to the Georgian Committee on Culture and Media. Of course we planned political talks as well, but as the demonstrations were every day,  the Parliament told us that they could not  guarantee our safety within the  Parliament building, so political talks could not take place. We had many contacts with people, NGOs and civil society. We also attended the Berliner Philharmoniker concert in Tsinandali. So it was also a visit of cultural cooperation, intended to deepen the relations between Georgia and Germany. But in result we could see with our own eyes what was going in the streets of Tbilisi. Though political talks could not take place, we tried to get our message right and tell what the German Bundestag was thinking of so-called “foreign agent law”.

Miloš MICHLOVSKÝ: “If Georgian winemakers want to be competitive in Europe they must diversify” (watch video or read)

16.05.2024 (Caucasian Journal). Our guest today is Dr. Miloš MICHLOVSKÝ - one of the leading Czech experts in the field of winemaking. He is currently visiting Georgia and kindly agreed to give us an interview.  You may watch the video discussion below, and read the full text - further below.  This interview is also available in Georgian language version.
 ქართულად: Video subtitled in Georgian is here. Georgian text version is here.

To be the first to view exclusive interviews, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel


The text version of interview is below:

MILOŠ MICHLOVSKÝ: “IF GEORGIAN WINEMAKERS WANT TO BE COMPETITIVE IN EUROPE THEY MUST DIVERSIFY”

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ: Hello and welcome to Caucasian Journal video interviews! Today it is our pleasure to welcome Dr. Miloš MICHLOVSKÝ - one of the leading Czech experts in the field of winemaking. He is currently visiting Georgia and kindly agreed to give us an interview. We must also thank the Czech Embassy in Tbilisi for this opportunity and for the help in translation. Dr. Michlovský, welcome to Georgia. Is this your first visit to Georgia, and what brings you here?

Miloš MICHLOVSKÝ: I would like to greet by a Moravian greeting “Welcome in the vineyard!” It's not my first time in Georgia. My first visit was in 1970-s during my study and doctorate period. I used to come very often because I had a lot of friends here. In recent years we had bilateral cooperation projects between Czechia and Georgia, as we try to share our best experience regarding EU accession, and actually all the lessons learned.

I see there's a quite dynamic process in Georgia in relation to the EU accession; there have been many changes in legislation. Of course these processes are not easy to be implemented in reality, but they are necessary for the accession to EU.

Open letter from Chairman of ICC Georgia regarding "Foreign Agents Law"

01.05. 2024. Open letter from Fady ASLY, Chairman of the Georgian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce, regarding the "Foreign Agents Law," also known as the "Russian Law".

I am writing this letter to inform society at large of all the consequences that Georgia will be facing after the implementation of the “Russian Law” in the country.

It is a fact that the enactment of this law by the Georgian Government will trigger a series of adverse consequences that will profoundly impact the business environment, the economy, and the overall prosperity of Georgia, as outlined in the following points:

1. Stifling Civil Society and Democracy
  • Impact on Governance: Civil society organizations (CSOs) are crucial for a healthy democracy as they hold government accountable, advocate for transparency, and fight corruption, therefore constraining their operations will lead to less oversight and more corruption, deteriorating the quality of governance.
  • International Perception: Implementing such a law will be perceived as an authoritarian shift, which will destabilize the democratic progress and image of Georgia on the international stage.