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Georgia’s youth: focus on Europe and workers’ rights

Georgia’s youth: focus on Europe and workers’ rights

Georgia will hold parliamentary elections in 2024. This requires a fundamental decision for the South Caucasus country: either Georgia will turn towards Russia politically, or it will work to strengthen its relations with Europe again.

For student Lana F, there is a lot at stake in the upcoming elections: “I fear that we will become a Hungary like Orbán.” She controversially described this as “the best option.” The only thing that could be worse, says the 24-year-old politics student, is further rapprochement between the government and Russia.

Employee rights are becoming clearer

At her student job, as a waitress in a trendy restaurant in Tbilisi’s Old Town, she feels every day how important it is to know and demand her employees’ rights as a young woman. These are the demands that unions around the world stand for: better working conditions, fair wages, and fair redistribution. Lana F says: “The union’s work is important in Georgia, where there is a need for education about employee rights, and goes hand in hand with our move towards Europe.”

Young people have a say

The example of Lana F. Young Georgians in particular want more from Europe. According to a recent study conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 62% of young people in Georgia believe that the country belongs to Europe. With the beginning of 2023, massive protests broke out that lasted for days, especially by thousands of young people, who condemned the government’s Russia-friendly course.

Since then, the country has faced a democratic decision that will also impact how the climate surrounding workers’ rights evolves. For Lana F. It is clear: “Without us young people, it will not work. “We will have a say in Georgia’s European future.”

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