Outgoing President Saakashvili met President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso in Brussels on October 29.
Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in late November, where Georgia expects to initial Association Agreement, was discussed during the meeting, Barroso said.
In a statement after the meeting Barroso said that the Vilnius summit “will only be a staging post” and “we need to think ahead on how to sustain Georgia's important achievements over time.”
“During President Saakashvili's term, Georgia has achieved a very remarkable progress. It is important now to be sure that this progress in Georgia, politically and economically, is further consolidated,” he said.
“Reinforcing Georgia's democracy is of course a particular priority for us. It is vital that Georgia remains a pluralist democracy – and I assured President Saakashvili that we will remain vigilant, in particular through the work of the European Union's Special Adviser to Georgia, Mr Thomas Hammarberg.”
“We expect Georgia to honour its obligations, such as ensuring that the courts operate free of political influence. We are completely against any form of selective justice,” Barroso said.
President of the European Commission also noted importance for Saakashvili’s UNM party “to continue to make a constructive contribution to Georgia's political debate while in opposition.”
“I know, if I may so, sometimes he’s a controversial leader, but that’s point in democracies,” Barroso said when responding journalists questions after the meeting. “In democracies when one makes choice we cannot have all the time support of everybody… The point is that… in strategic perspective Georgia today is stronger, more modern, hopefully more democratic.”