Latvia closes green EU accession deal

Eighth country to close environmental chapter of talks wins eight legal transition periods

Latvia will agree the environment terms of its entry to the EU tomorrow, it emerged today as environment commissioner Margot Wallström made her first visit to the country. Riga will get permission to apply eight directives later than deadlines already in place for existing member states.

Ms Wallström called the deal a "good result" for Latvia and a "giant step" in its journey to joining the EU. The agreement brings to eight the number of EU candidate countries to have provisionally closed the environment chapter of the accession negotiation process (EED 14/11/01).

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