France, currently heading the EU Council presidency, will propose activating the bloc’s “temporary protection” directive to deal with the millions of Ukrainian refugees the EU is expecting in the coming weeks, it announced on Sunday. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
Activation of the EU’s 2001 “temporary protection” directive will be proposed at the meeting of EU interior and justice ministers on March 3, French minister Gérald Darmanin said after a briefing. an extraordinary meeting in Brussels.
The directive, which has never been used before, provides for protection and distribution in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons.
It applies to people fleeing areas of armed conflict and is based on the will of the host State, which grants them a residence permit valid for at least one year. This residence permit is accompanied by the right to work, access to housing, benefit from social and financial assistance and medical care.
Although he noted “some reservations about the format”, Darmanin said the proposal, which a qualified majority must support, received “tremendous support”. The minister pledged to call the remaining skeptical countries to convince them by Thursday.
“The numbers are big,” stressed European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, who recalled that the United Nations (UN) estimated that four million Ukrainians could seek refuge in the EU if the situation does not improve. was not improving.
“300,000 Ukrainians are already here,” Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said. “All those who have to flee will be welcome,” she said, adding that “this is the time for solidarity and relocation if necessary.”
In addition, France has also decided to fully activate the EU’s Integrated Political Crisis Response Mechanism (IPCR) to monitor the situation and coordinate solidarity measures. A first technical meeting will be convened on Monday 28 February.