This is certainly good news, although whether the projected start date of 3rd October next actually marks the day is still open to doubt. A pre-condition for the talks is that Turkey must eventually recognise the government of Cyprus, already a member of the EU and that this must happen prior to the talks commencing. Talks with Croatia (UPDATE - Sat 18DEC04 00.55 GMT - with certain conditions) are now due to start next April.
You can link easily to any of the member and canditate countries by clicking here, then on any of the national flags of the 25 member and 4 (at present) candidate countries.
UPDATE: (Friday 17DEC04 23.59 GMT) A formula has been found to allow Turkey tacitly to recognise the Cyprus government, so the talks for Turkey to negotiate entry to the EU can go ahead. A positive result.