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28 Feb, 2022 13:05

EU reveals how long Ukrainian refugees will be allowed to stay

Brussels plans to let them remain for three years, with an estimated 300,000 people having escaped to the bloc
EU reveals how long Ukrainian refugees will be allowed to stay

European Union (EU) officials are working on draft proposals that would grant Ukrainian refugees who have fled the country protections to remain and work across the 27-member-state bloc for up to three years.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told France 2 TV on Monday that it is the EU’s “duty to take those who flee war,” confirming EU that interior ministers tasked the European Commission on Sunday with writing up the proposals.

Those ministers are set to meet again on Thursday to formalize the details of the proposals. As it stands, it’s been estimated by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi that over 500,000 people have fled in just over four days.

Senior EU and French officials say at least 300,000 of them have entered the bloc so far.
An EU temporary protection directive, which was drawn up in the 1990s in the wake of war in the Balkans, provides one-to-three years’ protection in all member states for refugees fleeing conflict. Individuals who enter the EU from Ukraine would be entitled to a residence permit, access to employment, social welfare, and medical treatment under the prior protection directive.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Alva Johansson stated on Sunday that most ministers across the bloc have brought their support forward for the proposal, with the only questions remaining over the timescale and the best way to ensure the protections.

“All EU member states are prepared to accept refugees from Ukraine,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated, adding that member states “stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”

Janez Lenarcic, the European commissioner for crisis management, has estimated that the number of Ukrainians displaced by the conflict could be as many as seven million, calling it the “largest humanitarian crisis on our European continent in many, many years.” The EU estimates that four million people could eventually flee the country as refugees.