Georgia has made a progress in reforms, but it needs to “consolidate democracy and work hard to create a tolerant and pluralistic political culture,” Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle said after meeting with Georgian State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Giorgi Baramidze, in Brussels on November 24.
Commissioner Füle said, according to a press statement released by his office after the meeting, that the parliamentary elections next year and presidential election in 2013 “will be an important test cases for Georgian democracy, which the EU will closely follow.”
"In our talks we focused on how our partner countries, which are most engaged in reforms, will benefit more from their relationship with the EU, in line with the ’more for more principle’,” he said, adding that Georgia has made a progress in this regard.
Baramidze said after the meeting that launch of talks on deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) before the end of this year, as well as start of negotiations on visa liberalization in spring was discussed. He said that he also discussed “new formats on how to further deepen our cooperation, including in the sphere of security.”
Commissioner Füle said that the preparations in Georgia for DCFTA talks were in “the final stages” and that the European Commission was now assessing the implementation of the preconditions by Georgia.
Füle also said that if Georgia continued with the effective implementation of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements with EU, which went into force in March, a visa free dialogue with Georgia “could be opened, possibly before the summer.”