EC proposes extending until March 2026 temporary protection for people fleeing Russian aggression against Ukraine

The European Commission (EC) said on June 11 that it had proposed to extend the temporary protection for people fleeing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine for another year, from March 5 2025 to March 4 2026.

“Given continued Russian attacks on the civil and critical infrastructure across Ukraine, safe and durable conditions for the return of people to Ukraine are not currently in place,” the EC said.

“The Commission therefore considers that the reasons for temporary protection persist, and that it should be prolonged for another year as a necessary and appropriate response to the current situation.”

The EC statement said that the ultimate goal is to ensure that all those fleeing Russia’s war of aggression can find protection in the EU, and that those almost 4.2 million people that are already benefiting from temporary protection in the EU member states are provided with as much stability as possible under the current circumstances.

The Temporary Protection Directive grants immediate protection and access to rights in the EU, including residency rights, access to the labour market, accommodation, social welfare assistance, medical and other assistance. It also helps member states to manage arrivals in an orderly and effective way, the EC said.

The EC will present the proposal to EU ministers at the Justice and Home Affairs Council on June 13. It is then for the Council to formally adopt the proposal.

The EU activated the Temporary Protection Directive on March 4 2022 with a unanimous decision by member states and it was automatically extended by one year and further extended for an additional year by the Council until March 4 2025.

(Archive photo, from March 2022: UNHCR/ Chris Melzer)

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