Since the adoption of the Temporary Protection Directive on 4 March 2022, the European Commission has been taking actions and intensifying cooperation with EU countries and partners to make sure Ukrainians find refuge in a safe and welcoming host country.
Commission communication: “Welcoming those fleeing war in Ukraine: Readying Europe to meet the needs”
To explain the EU’s response to the Ukraine crisis, the European Commission released a communication titled “Welcoming those fleeing war in Ukraine: Readying Europe to meet the needs” outlining how to manage the current refugee situation – from housing, healthcare and education needs to cross-communication between EU countries on the numbers of people arriving from Ukraine.
DG HOME is closely involved in several actions described in the above communication, in particular: the EU-internal operational coordination of EU countries and its partners; security aspects, including protection of children and prevention of trafficking in human beings.
1. Solidarity platform: coordinating and filling information gaps between EU countries
The Solidarity Platform, set up by the European Commission, is led by DG HOME and brings together EU countries, Schengen Associated States, EU Agencies as well as IOM, UNHCR and other partners. It collects and examines the needs identified in the Member States and coordinates the operational follow-up in response. Examples of actions include:
- Collection of data regarding reception capacities in EU countries, with special attention to collecting data on vulnerable refugees, including unaccompanied minors.
- Coordination of the transfer of people from Moldova to EU countries. So far, 7 EU countries and Norway have pledged to welcome 14 500 people from Moldova. The first transfers started on 19 March.
- Development of guidelines and standard operating procedures to facilitate these transfers.
Discussing operational solutions to facilitate transport within EU countries in cooperation with other Commission services.
2. Making sure people fleeing the war in Ukraine know about their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive
Currently, 3.5 million people have fled the war in Ukraine. Those reaching the EU are entitled to temporary protection, which guarantees them an array of rights - from receiving a residence permit to access the local job market and healthcare system, to education for refugee children, as well as other rights and benefits.
To help EU countries implement the Temporary Protection Directive, legal experts from DG HOME prepared guidelines on its facilitation. EU countries can consult the guidelines to help clear technical questions, such as:
- who is and who is not eligible for temporary protection
- what to do, if refugees present outdated identification documents
- how to proceed with the registration of unaccompanied minors
As the acceptance of people fleeing the war in Ukraine presents an unprecedented financial burden, the European Commission is mobilising EU funds to assist host countries:
- The European Regional Development Fund to help provide accommodation for refugees
- Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, to strengthen public reception systems and help integration
- Cohesion Policy funding and the new Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE), to help refugees integrate and access the job market
- EU Cohesion Funds, Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps programmes to ensure financing support for volunteering,schools, vocational education and training for refugees.
3. Protecting the most vulnerable
As the majority of people fleeing the war in Ukraine are women, children and the elderly, the European Commission outlines in its Communication how EU countries should help these groups. Areas of help and actions connected to home affairs and migration policies include:
- immediate registration of unaccompanied minors upon arrival and appointment of a guardian for the child
- under the Solidarity Platform, preparing Standard Operating Procedures for transfers of unaccompanied minors and other children with special needs to ensure protection from risks of abuse and trafficking
- supporting EU countries, including through the renewed Schengen Information System, in their work to fight trafficking in human beings and abduction
- Commission communication 'Welcoming those fleeing war in Ukraine: Readying Europe to meet the needs' – 23 March
- Commission communication 'European solidarity with refugees and those fleeing war in Ukraine' – 8 March
- Temporary Protection Directive
- Guidelines on the use of the Temporary Protection Directive
- EU solidarity with Ukraine
- Information for people fleeing the war in Ukraine
- Publication date
- 25 March 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs