Gul received European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stephan Fule, according to a statement published on presidency's website. “Opening a chapter is the right step forward,” said Gul. “Other new chapters should be opened without losing any time.” Brussels opened on Tuesday a new chapter, Chapter 22 with Turkey after three years. The chapter, named as “Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments”, aims mainly at decreasing the socio-economic disparities among the regions within the union. The accelaration in accession talks with 'Positive Agenda' should be maintained, said Fule. “EU agrees with Turkey on opening additional chapters.” Turkey first applied to European Economic Community, predecessor of the EU, for membership in 1987. The negotiations has seen a troublesome and prolonged process while some Eastern European countries became a member such as Poland, Hungary and Romania, all of which applied later than Turkey. For the last three years, talks between EU and Turkey slowed to a near halt amid strong opposition from Germany and France.