cover image: When EU temporary protection for displaced people from Ukraine ends: Possible scenarios


When EU temporary protection for displaced people from Ukraine ends: Possible scenarios

16 May 2024

With no end in sight to the war in Ukraine, the EU has started preparing for the post March 2025 period, when temporary protection for displaced people from Ukraine ends. The Temporary Protection Directive – triggered for the first time ever in March 2022, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine – has enabled EU Member States to offer assistance and rights to people in need of immediate protection. In principle, once the temporary protection period ends, the general laws on protection and on non-EU nationals in Member States will apply, including on return. Yet, there is a general fear that when large numbers of beneficiaries of temporary protection suddenly start seeking international protection, asylum systems risk being overwhelmed. Moreover, uncertainty about temporary protection beneficiaries' legal status might place them in a legal limbo, with potential periods of irregular residence owing to slow processing of applications for international protection. Moreover, even if eligible for refugee or subsidiary protection status, beneficiaries will not enjoy the same rights as under the Temporary Protection Directive. Academics and organisations dealing with migration management therefore agree on the urgency of finding a solution that would ensure a smooth transition out of the temporary protection regime and encourage eventual return to Ukraine. However, with the European elections taking place in June, the timing may not be ideal to amend existing EU legislation or craft new EU laws, as the legislative work in the European institutions will temporarily be put on hold. Moreover, a newly composed European Parliament and European Commission, as well as a new rotating presidency of the Council of the EU as from July, might also complicate decision-making. This briefing provides an overview of the potential exit strategies discussed by experts in the field, including the pros and cons of the most widely discussed options.
area of freedom, security and justice eu member states



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