Foreign ministers from the bloc's 28 member nations on Tuesday decided at a meeting in Luxembourg to open a new chapter in the negotiations on Turkey's EU accession.
Some EU states in June blocked the opening of new talks to protest Turkey's heavy-handed response to the country's protests.
The new chapter focuses on regional policy, one of 35 chapters aspiring members must address.
The EU started negotiations with NATO member Turkey in 2005 despite skepticism among some of its member states about a big Muslim nation joining the predominantly Christian bloc of around 500 million people.
Still, the talks have made relatively little progress because of Turkey's territorial dispute with EU member Cyprus.