EU says Georgia has to meet conditions before becoming membership candidate

News conference on the meeting of the College of EU Commissioners, in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Georgia needs to meet certain conditions before it can be granted the status of European Union membership candidate, the European Commission said on Friday.

"It should be granted candidate status once a number of priorities have been addressed," the Commission said in a statement.

"To succeed, the country must now come together politically, to design a clear path towards structural reform and the European Union - a path that concretely sets out the necessary reforms, brings on board civil society, and benefits from broad political support," the president of the bloc's executive, Ursula von der Leyen, told a news conference.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Marine Strauss; Editing by John Chalmers)