It is important for everyone to understand that the EU Summit in Vilnius in November will be a success for Georgia if it emerges as a stronger and not as a weaker democracy, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, said after a meeting with President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili on 9 July.
Regarding expectations about the Vilnius Summit, Štefan Füle said he discussed the progress made by Georgia with President Saakashvili and expressed hope that remaining issues related to economic integration will be finalized in the weeks to come, thereby creating appropriate conditions for accelerating negotiations within the framework of Association Agreement.
Štefan Füle also said the EU keeps a close watch on the process of cohabitation which is especially important for the future of the country and building a successful society. "In order to make Georgia's transition a genuine success, we still need to see further strengthening of its democratic institutions and deeper efforts to prevent polarisation of the society," he noted.
The EU Commissioner stressed a paramount importance of ensuring that justice is free from political interference and presumption of innocence is observed. "We expect that all this will be done in full conformity with Georgia's international obligations and European values, ensuring that justice is fair and free of any political interference, but of course without allowing impunity either," he said and called on all political actors in Georgia "to respect their state's institutions and to refrain from instrumentalising them for partisan purposes."
He assessed the meeting with the President as "good," adding that they discussed EU-Georgia relations as well as important regional and global issues. "I recalled the importance of basing our engagement on shared values. These include an absolute respect for democratic principles and the rule of law," the EU Commissioner noted.