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S&Ds urge Council to give its unanimous support for Ukraine refugee protection measures


02 Mar 2022


Global Europe

The S&D Group in the European Parliament is urging all EU governments to support refugees fleeing Ukraine by triggering the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive when Home Affairs ministers meet tomorrow. More than 800,000 people have already fled to neighbouring countries amid Russia’s invasion and continued aggression in Ukraine. The S&D Group urges all EU governments to support the immediate use of temporary protection measures so that refugees fleeing Ukraine are guaranteed safety, security and stability.

As Home Affairs ministers meet on Thursday, the S&D Group president Iratxe García will visit the Hungary-Ukraine border with S&D vice-president Gaby Bischoff to show support to local authorities and NGOs working tirelessly to ensure refugees are welcomed safely in the EU.

Birgit Sippel MEP, S&D spokesperson for home affairs, said:

“Every day tens of thousands of people continue to flee Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Last week, Ukrainian people were our neighbours, able to enjoy the peace and safety of their own homes. This week, they are refugees that desperately need our help.

Therefore, we welcome the proposal by Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson to provide temporary protection. EU ministers are fully briefed on the estimated number of refugees, likely millions, that will seek international protection if the conflict continues. The Council must act quickly and trigger, for the first time, the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive. Unanimous support in the Council and substantial commitments for reception capacity from each Member State would send an important signal that each and every EU member state is willing to do their fair share and take responsibility for helping refugees. Civil society, local and regional actors across our Union are stepping up to express their solidarity with displaced persons and I expect the same from our national governments. It must be ensured that these exceptional support measures apply to as many persons as possible and include everyone in need of protection.

This emergency measure puts in place a structured mechanism to help refugees fleeing Ukraine and EU governments must offer help based on needs and without discrimination. In the face of Russia’s relentless aggression, solidarity and unity are the only way forward, with refugees and between EU countries.”

Note to editors

The Temporary Protection Directive has not been triggered since it was adopted in 2001. Provisions for temporary protection ensure immediate support to high numbers of refugees including the right to residence permits, access to employment, education, housing and medical care. Under the EU’s temporary protection rules, all EU governments are required to guarantee a minimum standard of rights to refugees seeking protection.


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