Asylum seekers EU interior ministers face historic decision: Ukrainian refugees do not have to seek asylum in the EU

The EU intends to introduce temporary protection, which will allow those who have come to Ukraine to obtain a residence permit for next year and, if necessary, for a longer period.

Brussels

European the Union’s interior ministers will take a decision today to facilitate the entry and residence of war fugitives in the EU.

Ministers are expected to decide that refugees from Ukraine will receive a temporary residence permit for one year or up to three years throughout the EU. The residence permit also opens up the right to schooling and health care.

The proposal applies not only to Ukrainian citizens but also to citizens of other countries who have lived in Ukraine and are now forced to flee the country as a result of the war.

Ukrainians can still apply for asylum in an EU country, but the idea of ​​temporary protection is precisely that it should not be applied for. Applying for asylum is a long process, and applications from millions of Ukrainians would soon be blocked by member states ’immigration agencies.

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Ukrainians have now been allowed to enter the EU without a visa and stay there for 90 days.

Ministers of the Interior discuss, inter alia, who would be covered by temporary protection. They will take a political decision on the matter, after which it will be further refined between the Member States before the temporary protection enters into force. Parliament’s consent is not required.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said at the meeting he hoped the decision would take effect within a week.

The Temporary Protection Directive has been in force since 2001, but has never been implemented before. It is intended for situations where non-EU citizens enter the EU in large numbers who cannot return to their homeland, for example due to war.

The directive was therefore also in force in 2015, when thousands of people fleeing the Syrian war entered the EU. At that time, the directive was not activated. The situation is different, at least in that Ukrainians can already enter the EU without a visa for three months.

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Ukraine neighboring countries have received and assisted those fleeing Ukraine who are members of the World Refugee Organization According to the UNHCR already at least a million. As the war escalates, the number of refugees continues to rise.

According to Johansson, all this requires proper funding, which will also be discussed at the meeting of interior ministers. So far, there has been no request from the host countries to the EU to resettle refugees in other EU countries.

“Poland needs European help to organize accommodation and schooling for children, among other things,” Johansson said.

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