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EU ready to extend protection for Ukrainian refugees past March 2025

by Kateryna Hodunova January 26, 2024 1:18 PM 2 min read
Refugees from Ukraine stand on a platform at the Messebahnhof Laatzen station in Laatzen, Germany, after their arrival on April 15, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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If needed, the EU is ready to extend the temporary protection for Ukrainian refugees beyond March 2025 when the relevant directive expires, Belgium’s Asylum and Migration State Secretary Nicole de Moor said on Jan. 25 at an informal EU Home Affairs Ministers meeting, Ukrinform reported.

The EU activated the Temporary Protection Directive in March 2022 after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to Eurostat, over 4.2 million Ukrainian refugees are currently registered for temporary protection to legally access housing, find work, and receive social benefits in EU states.

In October 2023, the EU officially prolonged the directive until March 2025.

The EU considers different scenarios on the ground and will provide protection as long as necessary, said de Moor, whose country currently presides over the EU Council.

The European Commission and EU member states have decided to continue this discussion with the participation of Ukrainian authorities to come up with a decision shortly, de Moor said.

The European Commission will not present any further propositions on temporary protection without Ukraine’s and EU states’ prior approval, she added.

EU ministers confirmed their solidarity with Ukraine and agreed on the need to harmonize the legislation as 27 different legal approaches in this field could be "counterproductive."

The EU's Temporary Protection Directive offers immediate collective protection to displaced persons and was designed as an alternative to the asylum process. It was first implemented in 2001 following armed conflicts in the Western Balkans.

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