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#Alert: The European Commission (EC) proposes granting temporary protection to people seeking refuge in connection with the armed conflict in Ukraine.


The EC today launched the procedure for granting temporary protection to people who seek refuge in EU Member States due to the armed conflict in Ukraine. To this end, the Commission made a proposal to the EU Council today on this matter. This is an unprecedented event. Until now, this procedure has never been triggered.


According to the EC’ proposal, temporary protection is to be granted to Ukrainian citizens and residents and their family members displaced as a result of the conflict. Protection will also cover nationals of other third countries and stateless persons who have legally resided in Ukraine and who cannot return to their countries (this applies in particular to people who previously applied for asylum or international protection in Ukraine and their family members). People who can return safely to their country of origin will not benefit from the temporary protection. However, such persons will be ensured legal transit to their country of origin throughout the EU.


Granting temporary protection to the above persons will mean, in particular, that they will be provided with immediate right to stay, access to the labour market, social and medical assistance and education for children.


Ultimately, the protection is to be granted for a year. If the obstacles to the safe return of the above-mentioned persons to Ukraine will not cease, the period of protection may be extended by 6 months. If the obstacles cease earlier, the EC can propose the Council to shorten the period of this protection.


The basis for the Commission’s action in this matter is Directive 2001/55 / ​​EC. The purpose of this directive is to define minimum standards for temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons from third countries who cannot return to their country of origin, in particular by guaranteeing them legal residence and quick access to the labor market in the Member States of the EU. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, over 650,000 people have fled to the EU countries. It is therefore not surprising that the EC has taken the necessary measures.


For now, everything is in the hands of the Council of the EU. The Council is to start considering the proposal on March 3.


We monitor the work of EU bodies and we will keep you informed about the progress.