"There's no drama," Olli Rehn, the EU enlargement commissioner, said, calling the opening of two more chapters "a new step forward in the adhesion talks."

 

French concerns


Official French concerns over Ankara's membership have increased since Nicolas Sarkozy became president last month and he has affirmed his opposition to mainly-Muslim Turkey joining the EU.

 

"I don't think that Turkey has a place in the union," he said during his first official visit to Brussels.

 

Enlargement issues in the EU are decided by unanimity, which means that all 27 member states must endorse the opening and closure of the accession chapters.

 

Turkey has sought membership of the EU for several decades but the process has been frustrated by delays.

 

The EU suspended talks in December with Turkey on eight policy chapters because of Ankara's on-going trade dispute with Cyprus.

 

At present only two chapters on Turkey’s accession have been opened - "enterprise and industry policy" and "science and research".