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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 28 June 2012

EU-Georgia: Meeting of Commissioner Fule with President Saakashvili

Brussels (28th June) - The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili met in Brussels today to discuss EU-Georgia relations.

Commissioner Füle acknowledged that Georgia has made remarkable progress in its modernization and reform efforts. New and more efficient state institutions have been built and the services to the citizens of Georgia are improving. The EU is supporting and will continue to support these efforts within the instruments of the Eastern Partnership.

"It is also clear that Georgia needs to take further steps and continue this path of modernization and to consolidate democracy. The parliamentary election in October and presidential elections in 2013 will be important test cases for Georgian democracy and we encourage all political forces to respect the electoral process and make sure that the voting is free and fair," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting. "The EU is increasingly concerned about growing political tension and polarization in the run-up to the parliamentary elections and I have expressed the conviction that the elections will be first of all about political programmes and ideas," he continued and added that the EU is watching developments in the media landscape with particular attention.

Commissioner Füle and President Saakashvili also discussed the shared strong interest in the resolution of the conflicts regarding the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Mr Füle reiterated the European Union’s commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity.

Commisioner Fule underlined that EU supports the use of status neutral travel documents.

(The EU and Georgia have a common goal that the benefits of getting closer to the EU - higher living standards, free trade, investment and visa liberalization - can reach the whole Georgian population, including those divided by conflict.)

Contacts :

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)

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