18 MARCH 2022

Ukraine Info: EU Commission guidelines on Temporary Protection

Today the EU Commission published operational guidelines to the EU Member States on how best to apply the Temporary Protection Directive. Being the first time this Directive is being used, these guidelines are aimed to ensure its proper implementation across the EU. 

The guidelines may be found here, and this is some info from the EU Commission’s summary:

Guidelines to Member States

The guidelines are intended as a living document to reflect the situation on the ground and take due consideration of the evolving needs of the Member States. The main elements include:

  • Clarifying who is entitled to temporary protection, including for instance those persons who benefitted from international protection or an equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February and who have been displaced from Ukraine on or after 24 February, as well as their family members.

  • A definition of “adequate protection” under national law which is a possible alternative to temporary protection that may be offered by Member States and does not have to be identical, but which must respect the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union and the spirit of the Temporary Protection Directive. The respect for human dignity and therefore a dignified standard of living has to be ensured in respect of everyone.

  • Specifying the type of evidence needed to benefit from temporary protection or adequate protection under national law.

  • Encouraging Member States to consider extending temporary protection to persons who strictly-speaking would not fall under the scope of application of the Decision but who need protection such as those who fled Ukraine not long before 24 February 2022.

  • Children: the Guidelines include a dedicated chapter on children. Unaccompanied children and teenagers should be immediately appointed with a legal guardian or appropriate representation. The Commission is also coordinating relocation efforts for the transfers of unaccompanied children and teenagers to other Member States. All children fleeing from the war, regardless of their status, should have full protection and swift access to their specific rights (including education, healthcare, psychosocial assistance).

  • Guidelines on specific rights under the Temporary Protection Directive: a residence permit should serve as a document to prove someone's status with other authorities, such as employment offices and services, schools, hospitals. Where residence permits are still pending, Member States should facilitate the opening of bank accounts and access to relevant services on the basis of an ID document or proof of entry into the EU after 24 February 2022.

  • Guidelines to ensure free movement both before and after issuance of residence permits: Ukrainian nationals holding biometric passports or nationalities exempt from the requirement to be in possession of a short-stay visa for entering the Union, have the right to move freely within the Schengen area after being admitted into the territory for a 90-day period within a 180-day period. For non-visa exempt nationalities, the Commission recommends that Member States of first entry issue 15-day visas as the border and that secondary Member States do not impose financial penalties on carriers transporting persons enjoying temporary protection but not in possession of valid documents to enter. After a residence permit is issued, persons with temporary protection have the right to move freely.

  • Providing repatriation assistance for those with no right to stay in the EU, such as the need to receive consular assistance for repatriation, which Frontex can support.

This is a post of several where the Malta Refugee Council will be giving news and updates on the situation of Ukrainians here and on how they may be protected.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any info you would like to share or if you need any assistance.


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