EU Member States offer Ukrainians temporary protection

Publication date 4.3.2022 16.00 | Published in English on 8.3.2022 at 15.14
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For the first time ever, the European Union (EU) has activated the Temporary Protection Directive to help people fleeing from Ukraine. The decision is expected to enter into force on 4 March or in the following days. The Government will soon decide the category of people to be granted protection in Finland. Practical arrangements and additional instructions are also under preparation.

The Commission issued a proposal to activate the Directive on 2 March and it was adopted at the meeting of home affairs ministers held on 3 March. When the decision enters into force, Finland and every EU Member State is obligated to grant temporary protection to the group specified in the decision. The obligation to grant protection is valid for the year during which the decision is in force. After one year, the decision may be extended.

People who are granted temporary protection have access to reception services and the labour market. 

This EU-wide decision covers:

  • Ukrainian citizens and their family members
  • Beneficiaries of international protection in Ukraine and their family members
  • Other permanent residents of Ukraine who cannot return to their country of origin
  • At the discretion of the Member State, other residents of Ukraine who cannot return to their country of origin.

The persons must have been resident in Ukraine and fled when Russia’s invasion began, i.e. on 24 February or thereafter. 

Government to specify the category of people to be granted protection 

The EU Member States can decide the exact category of people who will receive protection. The Government will decide the category to be applied in Finland in the next few days. It is possible to apply temporary protection more extensively than what is defined in the EU-wide decision. 

The Temporary Protection Directive has never been activated before. The decision was prepared quickly with broad political consensus behind it. 

More information: 
Ministry of the Interior press release on temporary protection decision
Frequently asked questions on the situation in Ukraine 
Information on the situation in Ukraine for those involved in integration work

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