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04 March 2022

The European Union will give temporary protection to refugees fleeing Ukraine

The European Council of Interior Ministers gives the green light for the first time to the activation of Directive 2001/55/E

The Ministers of the Interior of the European Union, at the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 3 March, unanimously approved the establishment of a temporary protection mechanism in response to the influx of displaced persons from Ukraine.
Ministers for the first time since its approval decided to activate Directive 2001/55/EC, which provides for minimum reception standards for the granting of temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons.
The activation of this instrument will allow EU Member States to offer people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine an adequate response to their situation. Eligible persons will be granted a status similar to that of refugees, in any EU country, for a period of one year, renewable.

The Temporary Protection Directive

The Temporary Protection Directive was designed specifically to provide immediate protection to those in need and to avoid saturation of Member States’ asylum systems.
The activation of the Directive will enable Ukrainian citizens and persons permanently resident in Ukraine to have access to protection throughout the European Union.
The activation of this measure will allow, in particular:
• To offer immediate protection and rights: these include residence rights, access to the labour market, access to housing, social assistance, medical or other care and livelihoods. For unaccompanied minors and adolescents, temporary protection confers the right to legal protection and access to education.
• To reduce pressure on national asylum systems by creating a protection status requiring reduced formalities. This will avoid saturation of national asylum systems and Member States will be able to manage arrivals in an orderly and effective manner, in full respect of fundamental rights and international obligations.

In Italy, Directive 2001/55/EC was implemented by Legislative Decree No 85 of 7 April 2003.  After the official decision of the Council, a Decree of the President of the Council will be necessary to activate the measure on national territory.  This decreewill be required, specifying the general conditions for granting “temporary protection”, which gives the right to the issue of a special residence permit (specifically for temporary protection), allows family reunification (under the same conditions as for the refugee), access to study, the carrying out of work activities.

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(Source: EU Council)