Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission has proposed activating the Temporary Protection Directive to provide help to Ukrainians fleeing the war there.
As a result, Ukrainian refugees are to be granted temporary protection in the EU, a measure that will provide them with a residence permit as well as access to the labour market and to education.
The EC also proposed operational guidelines for EU member states aimed at ensuring efficient management of arrivals and security maintenance. According to the guidelines, bloc members should set up emergency channels to provide humanitarian aid.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared that “Europe stands by those in need of protection…. all those fleeing Putin’s bombs are welcome in Europe.”
“We will provide protection to those seeking shelter and we will help those looking for a safe way home”, she said.
An unprecedented move
Margaritis Schinas, European Commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life, pointed out that the EC’s move is unprecedented insofar as “all those fleeing the war will be provided with a secure status and access to schools, medical care and work.”
“The times are bearing heavily down upon us but the EU and every single one of its member states is showing beyond a doubt that we are ready to step up to the plate and stand in solidarity with Ukraine”, Schinas observed.
European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said she believed the guidelines would “give member states further capacity to manage this crisis in an orderly and effective way.” The proposal would help Ukrainian refugees to reach the EU “quickly, without going through lengthy formalities at the borders.”
An EC said the proposal represented an assurance that “Ukrainian nationals and people who have made Ukraine their home as well as their family members displaced by the conflict will be entitled to protection across the EU.”
“Non-Ukrainian nationals and stateless people legally residing in Ukraine who cannot return to their country or region of origin, such as asylum seekers or beneficiaries of international protection and their family members, will also be granted protection”, the Commission asserted.
The EU Council, which had previously stated its support for the measures, is to adopt the Temporary Protection proposal. Once adopted, the measures would immediately come into effect and last for one year.
However, the EC may propose to end the measures at any time should the situation in Ukraine improve and allow for safe return. Alternatively, the Commission may propose to extend the measures by one year.