EU: Georgia hasn't yet made the grade

July 10, 2013 at 9:59 AM

TBILISI, Georgia, July 10 (UPI) -- Georgia needs to do more to convince the European Union it is serious about a comprehensive democratic system, the EU neighborhood commissioner said.

European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule met in Tbilisi with Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili to discuss engagement efforts. Georgia wants a closer relationship with the EU and NATO, though each alliance has expressed concern about the government's policies.

NATO in 2008 agreed to Georgia's accession provided it embraces defense and political reforms.

Fule said he had a "good meeting" with Saakashvili, adding he took note of a general sense of cooperation among Georgian lawmakers.

"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 polarization of the society," he said in a statement Tuesday from Tbilisi.

European lawmakers said they were frustrated with Georgia's commitments to democracy and widespread allegations of partisan justice.

Formal association negotiations will conclude during a November meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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