Ukrainian Crisis | EU Ministers of Interior discuss providing temporary protection to Ukrainian refugees
Defence Redefined
Published on 03/03/2022 at 13:50

EU Ministers of Interior met today to consider the European Commission’s proposal to offer temporary protection to refugees who have fled Ukraine because of the war.

Interior Affairs Commissioner, Ylva Johansson, first announced the proposal to the extraordinary Interior Affairs Council on Sunday, three days after Vladimir Putin ordered his generals to invade Ukraine.

The proposal provides for refugees from Ukraine to be allowed to apply for temporary protection in any EU Member-State. This protection will initially be valid for one year but may be extended for another two years if decided by the Member-States.

The directive will also allow less strict EU border controls on refugees from Ukraine, so that they can be evacuated more quickly and easily. The technical work can proceed “very quickly” for the implementation of the Commission’s proposal if there is an agreement in the current Council of Ministers, noted a European diplomat. The Temporary Protection Directive was drafted after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, but it was never enacted.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has displaced more than a million people in one week, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grady, announced earlier today. Among the EU Member-States that have received large numbers of refugees from Ukraine are Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania.

The Greek Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Notis Mitarakis, coming to the EU Interior Affairs Council in Brussels, stated that “many important issues are on the agenda today. We welcome President Macron’s proposal to set up a strong Schengen Council to provide leadership in the common area. At the same time, we all expect progress on the much-needed Immigration and Asylum Package, but these are not the important issues today.”

“The most crucial thing is to provide tangible support to the displaced Ukrainians, who were forced to leave the country because of the Russian invasion. As to a specific proposal of the Commission, we must make specific decisions today to activate the legal tools to provide safe haven to Ukrainians,” he added.

Source: AMNA

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