The European Commission sent a letter to all the aid organisations it funds to get details on measures they implement to prevent any abuse.
German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany "poses no danger to diversification". Merkel, who was meeting Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, insisted the project was only an "economic project". Morawiecki, whose country strongly opposes the plan, said it was important that "no side has a price monopoly" on Europe's gas market.
Spanish king Felipe VI will be in Barcelona next Sunday (25 February), for the first time since the 1 October independence referendum in Catalonia and the crisis between Spanish authorities and Catalan separatists. He will preside over a dinner ahead of the opening of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), one of Barcelona's main business events. Felipe VI has been, along prime minister Mariano Rajoy, a staunch critic of the separatists.
EU leaders will gather to begin talking about the 2019 election process and the post-2020 budget, while eurozone finance ministers will ponder choosing the next European Central Bank deputy chief.
Three journalists - brothers Ahmet and Mehmet Altan, and Nazli Ilicak - were sentenced to prison for life on Friday by a court in Istanbul. They are accused of having participated in the failed July 2016 coup against president Erdogan through "subliminal messages" on TV and in articles. The sentence was declared just hours after another journalist, German-Turkish Deniz Yucel, was freed after a year in prison over espionage charges.
The bulk of EU budget cuts, which are needed because of Brexit, should be done by reducing the size of the EU's agriculture and cohesion funds, the Netherlands said in an internal document seen by EUobserver. The paper said that the Dutch government could support making payments of EU funds conditional on structural reforms, but noted that the Dutch government was reluctant to support additional EU taxes.
The United Nations on Friday called the an anti-migration legislation proposed in Hungary, dubbed "Stop Soros", an "assault on human rights". The proposed bill could lead to banning NGOs dealing with migration. The bill represented "an unjustified restriction on the right to freedom of association and is a worrying continuation of the government's assault on human rights and civic space," UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said.
Most EU states forget to tell Brussels how they will punish misuse of the toxic metal, despite legally agreed deadlines having passed.
Deniz Yucel, a German-Turkish journalist, was freed by Turkey on Friday after a year in prison. Yucel, who works for the German daily newspaper Die Welt, was arrested on 14 February 2017 over espionage charges. Last month, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said that the liberation of imprisoned journalists was a condition for better EU-Turkey relations. Turkey is the country with the most imprisoned journalists in the world.
A new EU regulation that covers organic agriculture 'from farm to fork' will not be ready until late spring, a source close to the presidency of the Council of the EU told EUobserver. The council, representing national governments, struck a deal on the shape of the legislation with MEPs last June. However, the file still needs to be formally approved. The source said the delay was due to "linguistic finalisations".
The leaders of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania say in a joint letter that they are open to talks on creating "new own resources" for a bigger EU budget after the UK leaves the EU.
EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn sent a message of hope to the six Western Balkan countries on Friday. "All these countries in the region are surrounded by member states of the Union," he told journalists on Friday. "It's obvious that sooner or later they should have the opportunity to be members of the European Union in order to be finally connected, reconnected to Europe - as it is Europe."
Anti-migrant legislation, set to be adopted after the April general elections, is attracting criticism from Berlin and the Council of Europe.
The legal text of the Brexit withdrawal agreement and transition is expected to be finalised by 28 February.
Some 66 percent of respondents to a poll amongst supporters of the German centre-left SPD party said they were in favour of the proposed coalition with the two centre-right Christian Democrat parties CDU and CSU, the Funke group newspapers reported on Friday. Around 30 percent said they supported new elections. Among CDU/CSU supporters, 78 percent were in favour of the 'grand coalition', and 17 percent want a new vote.
After the European Commission presented its Western Balkans strategy last week, with a view of possibly integrating the region by 2025, some EU ministers were less enthusiastic after their first discussion of the new policy.
The two social media giants need to update their terms and conditions to comply fully with European consumer protection laws.
The planned German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would make an all-out Russian-Ukrainian war more likely, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki told Die Welt newspaper, ahead of his Berlin visit on Friday. He called the project "unnecessary, detrimental and divisive". The pipeline would bypass Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic countries. Morawiecki argued if Nord Stream 2 became operational, Russia could escalate the conflict in Ukraine by shutting off pipelines there.
The Nordic is comprised of 74 regions and, combined, is the 12th largest economy in the world. The State of the Nordic Region 2018 gives a unique look behind the scenes of the world's most integrated region.
All of the member states that joined the EU since 2004 were underrepresented in the petition.