EU agrees to protect Ukrainian refugees


The countries of the European Union closed this Thursday a political agreement to grant a temporary protection for refugees arriving from Ukraine through a 2001 directive that will be activated for the first time.

Member states have given the green light to legislation that was passed after the Balkan wars following the breakup of Yugoslavia but had not been activated to date.

In particular, it will provide people who have fled Ukraine, whatever Member State they are in, with a residence permit, access to the labor market and housing, and medical and social assistance.

“Historic agreement on the occasion of the meeting of EU Interior Ministers. The European Union will grant temporary protection to those who fleeing the war in Ukraine,” He said on his Twitter account French Minister Gérald Darmanin, who holds the six-monthly presidency of the Council. The European Commissioner for the Interior, Ylva Johansson, also gave a positive assessment of the agreement and underlined that “The EU is united to save lives”.

Spain has indicated this Thursday that it supported activating the legislation to give temporary protection to refugees. “Spain, of course, will support the activation of the directive on temporary protection that will give Ukrainian citizens who are fleeing this situation of be able to move freely around the countries of the European Union and even to be able to reside,” said the Spanish Secretary of State for Security, Rafael Pérez Ruiz, upon arrival at the meeting.

The meeting of ministers this Thursday took place after the emergency meeting that the same holders held last Sunday, after which the activation of the regulations began to be prepared.

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In principle one year is applicable, expandable up to three and it would also extend to non-Ukrainian citizens residing in that country.

Exodus from Ukraine

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia began eight days ago, the departure of citizens from the country has been constant. Since last Thursday, mMore than a million people have left the country, according to the latest data closed on March 2 that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides in a new portal that it has launched to report on this humanitarian crisis.

Half of the expatriates go to Poland, which has already received some 548,000 refugees, but hundreds of thousands have also crossed the borders of Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. “I have worked in refugee crises for almost 40 years and rarely have I seen an exodus of people so incredibly fast,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said a few days ago.

Newsletters RNE – The European Union agrees to activate the Temporary Reception Directive for Ukrainian refugees – Listen now

In addition to refugees, the United Nations estimates that there are one million internally displaced persons, people who have fled their homes but are still in the country.

The UN estimates that the war could lead to the departure of four million people who seek refuge in order to escape the invasion that has been carried out Vladimir Putin.

catastrophe for children

In a statement, Unicef ​​has assured that the conflict is havingor a devastating impact on Ukrainian childrenwith millions of them affected by violence, especially given the increase in bombing in urban areas.

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“The use of explosive weapons in cities could quickly turn this crisis into a catastrophe for the children of Ukraine,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF’s regional director for Europe and Central Asia. “There are no armed operations on this scale that are not harmful to children. The consequences will be tragic,” he insisted.

So far, the United Nations has confirmed the death of 17 children so far in the war, although that figure only includes the cases that the organization has been able to verify, so it estimates that the real number is probably much higher.

According to Unicef, hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed and there are reports of attacks that have hit schools, orphanages or health clinics. The organization is reinforcing its operations to bring vital aid to children and families in Ukraine and also to support the reception of refugees in neighboring countries.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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