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EU Commission activates directive on temporary protection of people fleeing war in Ukraine

More than 650,000 Ukrainians fled to neighboring EU member states after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The European Commission today proposed to activate the Temporary Protection Directive to provide more assistance to people fleeing the war in Ukraine, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.

This proposal indicates that the EU will provide temporary assistance to those fleeing the war, providing them with residence permits and access to education and the labor market.

The Temporary Protection Directive offers responses to this situation by providing immediate protection and rights, reducing pressure on national asylum systems, strengthening solidarity and responsibility-sharing, and further support from EU agencies.

The council already expressed broad support for the measures at its meeting on Thursday 27 February and promised to discuss both documents in the Justice and Home Affairs Council on Thursday 3 March. Once approved, temporary protection will be effective immediately and will last for one year.

According to a statement from the Commission, operational guidelines are being developed to assist Member States’ border guards in effectively managing arrivals at the border with Ukraine. These guidelines also recommend that Member States establish dedicated emergency support lanes to channel humanitarian aid.

Commenting on the proposal, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen noted that Europe would accept all Ukrainians affected by the war, adding that Europe would also stand by those in need of protection.

Margaritis Schinas, Vice President for the Promotion of the European Way of Life, and Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Home Affairs, expressed satisfaction with the way the EU and Member States are providing immediate support to those arriving from the war zone, she said.

In addition, non-Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons legally residing in Ukraine who cannot return to their country of origin or region will also be protected by the EU.

“Other persons who are legally in Ukraine for a short time and can safely return to their country of origin are not covered by this protection. However, they should be allowed access to the EU for transit before returning to their countries of origin,” – the statement says.

Moreover, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) said it was ready to help all EU member states deal with the situation at their borders.

In a press release issued on Feb. 28, Frontex noted that it could deploy its permanent corps officers within a few days in response to possible requests for support from member states that share a border with Ukraine.

Just a day later, the Slovak Republic turned to Frontex for support in solving the problem of the migration flow.

In the event of the continuation of the war in Ukraine, apart from Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are also ready for an influx of migrants.

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