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EU to give temporary residence to Ukrainian refugees

The European Commission proposed on Wednesday that people fleeing the war in Ukraine be granted temporary protection, including a residence permit and access to employment and social welfare.

The news: Since Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, more than 650,000 people have fled to EU members Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary, according to the EU executive.

  • The new legislation designed to deal with such mass arrivals of displaced people in the EU, would apply in all member states without the need for lengthy asylum procedures.
  • The proposal will be discussed on Thursday by EU interior ministers, who gave it broad support last week, according to the Commission.
  • Once adopted, Ukrainian refugees will receive one year of temporary protection, which can be extended for up to three years if the situation in Ukraine improves sufficiently for people to return home and the scheme to expire.

What’s going on: Ukrainian nationals, as well as those already receiving international protection or asylum seeker status in Ukraine, will be granted temporary protection. Those on short-term stays in Ukraine who can safely return to their home country will not benefit from the new legislation.

What are they saying: “All those fleeing Putin’s bombs are welcome in Europe,” said European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen. “We will protect those seeking shelter and assist those looking for a safe way home.”

  • In practice, this means that anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, regardless of nationality, should be allowed to enter EU countries, according to the European Commission.
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