European Council's Committee of Permanent Representatives gave Thursday a green light to Turkey to open the policy chapter on environment in Ankara's accession negotiations. The environment chapter is set to open on December 21 during a inter-governmental conference meeting.

The number of chapters Turkey has opened so far increases to twelve out of a total 33 policy areas.

The European Union suspended in 2006 the opening of eight chapters and the closing of several others due to Turkey's refusal to allow Greek Cypriot vessels into Turkish ports.