Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 05/04/2022

PES Network stands in solidarity with refugees from Ukraine

Public Employment Services (PES) across Europe are demonstrating their commitment to supporting displaced people escaping the war in Ukraine - through implementation of measures to enhance their rights and provide practical support within the EU.

As millions of people continue to flee the war in Ukraine, Europe’s Public Employment Services (PES) were quick to express their commitment to supporting Ukrainian citizens.

Johannes Kopf, Chair of the PES Network, reflected on these messages of support: “I am proud of this solidarity and I want to… send a strong message to our Ukrainian neighbours that we will do our best to support them upon their arrival.

Indeed, PES will be key players for implementing the rights accorded to people fleeing Ukraine by the European Union’s first ever activation of its Temporary Protection Directive. This provides for harmonised rights across the EU for those fleeing Ukraine, including the right to access the labour market, housing, medical assistance and education for children.

Recent exchange of information among PES Network members showed much uncertainty about the scale of the challenge ahead, but also that many feel better prepared following lessons from recent refugee crises. Most PES intend to use existing active labour market policies (ALMPs) to support refugees, whilst a few are already working on specific new measures or programmes.

The importance of working in partnership with other actors is once more highlighted and, in some countries, PES are now present at refugee welcome centres. Several PES are also working on simplified or fast-track processes for registration and pre-screening of arrivals, as well as new and specific information tools, including in the Ukrainian language.

The PES Network will continue to support exchange of information and experiences between its members around the ways that PES can best respond to all the related challenges.

In the meantime, keep up to date with all the policy actions being taken by the EU. The European Commission recently published a Communication on Welcoming those fleeing war in Ukraine – readying Europe to meet the needs, which sets out the various initiatives taken so far, including a proposal to help Member States use EU Cohesion funding to respond to the unfolding humanitarian crisis through Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE).

See also this reference page for the latest practical support being offered by the EU, which includes information for refugees, implementation guidelines for Member States in granting temporary protection and information for EU citizens on how to help.

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