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Migration and Home Affairs

Migration management: Welcoming refugees from Ukraine

Temporary protection

Drawing from past experience in managing migration, it soon became clear that EU countries would not have appropriate capacity to process asylum applications lodged by the high number of people fleeing the war.

That is why on 2 March 2022, the Commission proposed to activate the Temporary Protection Directive, which was then adopted by the European Council on 4 March 2022 through the Decision to grant those fleeing the war in Ukraine temporary protection.

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Practical information for people fleeing the war and arriving to the EU

Soon after the war broke out, the Commission centralised all the key information for those fleeing the war on the information webpage. There, people can find practical information in English, Ukrainian and Russian about their rights concerning:

  • temporary protection
  • travel within the EU
  • access to housing, health care, education and jobs

People can also find the hotlines and the contact points of national authorities and practical information about the key organisations in the EU helping those fleeing the war.

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The webpage: Information for people fleeing the war in Ukraine

Solidarity Platform

The Solidarity Platform has been set up to ensure the implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive in close collaboration with all parties. Its role is to monitor the needs identified in EU countries and coordinate the operational response. The Solidarity Platform also provides a general forum for discussion to support the implementation of the 10-Point plan presented by the Commission after the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council of 28 March.

The Solidarity Platform, coordinated by DG HOME, brings together:

  • EU countries
  • Schengen Associated States
  • EU Agencies (in particular, EU Agency for Asylum, Frontex and Europol)
  • IOM, UNHCR and other partners

The Platform meets on a weekly basis alongside the Council’s Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) as well as the EU Migration Preparedness and Crisis Management Network (the Blueprint).

Objectives and actions of the Solidarity Platform

  • provide a general forum for discussion to support the implementation of the 10-Point plan for a stronger coordination on welcoming the people fleeing the war in Ukraine
  • collect relevant information on reception and accommodation capacity in EU countries
  • coordinate matching offers from EU countries to accept people fleeing war in Ukraine who have already arrived in the EU
  • coordinate the transfer of persons between EU countries
  • facilitate and make use of relevant EU instruments

Since its establishment on 4 March 2022 with the Council Implementing Decision, the Solidarity Platform achieved concrete results in managing migration across several actions.

The Migration Preparedness and Crisis Blueprint

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission has coordinated the EU response to resulting migratory movement through the EU Migration Preparedness and Crisis Blueprint.

The Migration Preparedness and Crisis Blueprint provides an operational framework to ensure:

  • situational awareness and better preparedness,
  • effective governance and timely response.

The Blueprint has been actively involved in gathering and reporting latest developments with EU Member States and Agencies. Information is collected and disseminated for better management of migration.

Border management

To help border guards of EU countries manage arrivals at the borders with Ukraine efficiently, while reducing the waiting time, but still maintaining a high level of security, on 2 March 2022 the Commission issued guidelines on external border management. The guidelines include provisions on:

  • simplification of border controls at the EU's borders with Ukraine
  • flexibility regarding entry conditions
  • allowing crossings at temporary border crossing points, outside official border crossing points
  • easy access for rescue services and humanitarian assistance
  • personal belongings and pets

The guidelines strongly recommend EU countries to make use of the support of EU Agencies – with Frontex able to assist with the identification and registration of the people arriving, and Europol available to deploy officers supporting EU countries with secondary checks.

EU Agencies playing a key role on the ground

EU Agencies play a key role in assisting EU countries on the ground with border management, information-sharing, asylum registrations and preventing criminal networks from taking advantage of vulnerable people.

Protecting people from trafficking in human beings

The majority of people fleeing the war in Ukraine are women and children, including unaccompanied and separated children. Travelling under these circumstances entails a risk of encountering traffickers, in particular organised crime groups, who seek to exploit their vulnerability, thus making them more at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, in particular for the purpose of sexual or labour exploitation.

That is why the Commission places special attention to the issue of human trafficking, and it strongly encouraged EU countries in its Guidelines and Communication to take necessary measures, such as

  • adequate prevention measures: information on the risks of trafficking, emergency helplines, awareness raising and training of key professionals who are likely to come into contact with potential victims
  • a fully operational National Referral Mechanism to improve early identification, assistance and support to victims of trafficking
  • effective cooperation between the asylum, border, law enforcement and judicial authorities as well as with EU agencies
  • carrying out necessary checks, also with the help of the information registered in the Schengen Information System
  • registration of children, including unaccompanied minors and orphans, at first entry in order to ensure the best interests of the child and that every child is traceable from the moment they leave Ukraine to the moment of arrival in their country of destination
  • registration of entities and persons providing accommodation and transport
  • respect of national laws and procedures for vetting and monitoring procedures for foster families and other hosts
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For more information visit the webpage presenting practical tips on how to stay safe and avoid falling into the hands of traffickers.

Timeline

  1. 28 March 2022
    10-point plan for stronger EU coordination

    The Commission presents a 10-Point Plan for a stronger European coordination on welcoming people fleeing the war against Ukraine.

  2. 23 March 2022
    Commission Communication on welcoming people fleeing the war in Ukraine

    The Commission releases a communication titled “Welcoming those fleeing war in Ukraine: Readying Europe to meet the needs” outlining how to manage the current refugee situation.

  3. 21 March 2022
    Guidelines on the use of the Temporary Protection Directive

    The Commission issues Operational guidelines for EU countries on how to best implement the rules on temporary protection for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

  4. 17 March 2022
    Agreement with Moldova and Frontex cooperation

    The EU and Moldova sign an agreement on border cooperation management with Frontex.

  5. 8 March 2022
    Commission Communication on European solidarity with refugees and those fleeing war in Ukraine

    The Commission releases a communication titled “European solidarity with refugees and those fleeing war in Ukraine” outlining how to manage the current refugee situation.

  6. 4 March 2022
    Adoption of the Temporary Protection Directive

    The EU Council adopts the Council Implementing Decision to grant temporary protection to those fleeing the war in Ukraine. With this Decision the Council also established the Solidarity Platform.

  7. 2 March 2022
    Proposal to activate the Temporary Protection Directive and Operational guidelines on external border management

    The Commission proposes to EU countries to activate the Temporary Protection Directive and issues Operational guidelines for external border management to facilitate border crossings at the EU-Ukraine borders.

Documents