Following the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, the Council adopted unanimously an Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Article 5 of Directive 2001/55/EC. (Temporary Protection Directive), and having the effect of introducing temporary protection, on 4 March 2022, being this the first time the Temporary Protection Directive was activated since its adoption in 2001.
For this reason, many doubts have arisen about what we should understand by some concepts and the demand for further and clear information grew. In this context, a guidelines have been created by the European Commission to better understand this directive and to support Member States in applying it.
This guidelines will help Ukrainian refugees to have a consistent and effective level of rights and the Member States to assume their new responsibilities.
The guidelines clarify some relevant points:
Who can benefit from this directive?
Are entitled to temporary protection, including those persons who benefitted from international protection or an equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February, those who have been displaced from Ukraine on or after 24 February and their family members.
What we should understand by “adequate protection”?
Member States should offer all the possible alternative measures to temporary protection, but that respect the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union and the objective of the Temporary Protection Directive, respecting always the human dignity and avoiding discrimination.
The guidelines also specify the type of evidence needed to benefit from temporary protection or adequate protection under national law.
What happens to Ukrainians who fled the war before February 24, 2022? Are they not covered by this directive?
Theoretically this group is not covered by the protection of this Directive, but the EU encourages Member States to consider extending temporary protection to persons who strictly-speaking would not fall under the scope of application of the Decision but who need protection such as those who fled Ukraine not long before 24 February 2022.
What specific rights do children and unaccompanied minors have?
They should be immediately appointed with a legal guardian or appropriate representation with full protection and direct access to education, healthcare, psychosocial assistance, etc.
What facilities should the residence permit provide?
The residence permit should serve as a document to prove someone’s status with other authorities, such as employment offices and services, schools, hospitals. But what facilities will they have before issuing them a residence permit? If residence permits are still pending, Member States should facilitate the opening of bank accounts and access to relevant services on the basis of an ID document or proof of entry into the EU after 24 February 2022.
Do they enjoy the right to free movement before and after issuance of residence permits?
Ukrainian nationals holding biometric passports or nationalities exempt from the requirement to be in possession of a short-stay visa for entering the Union, have the right to move freely within the Schengen area after being admitted into the territory for a 90-day period within a 180-day period. For non-visa exempt nationalities, the Commission recommends that Member States of first entry issue 15-day visas as the border and that secondary Member States do not impose financial penalties on carriers transporting persons enjoying temporary protection but not in possession of valid documents to enter. After a residence permit is issued, persons with temporary protection have the right to move freely.
 Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022 establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Article 5 of Directive 2001/55/EC, and having the effect of introducing temporary protection ST/6846/2022/INIT DO L 71 de 4.3.2022, p. 1/6
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