Ukraine: 130+ civil society groups urge the EU to move beyond temporary protection

EU Parliament in Strasbourg with Ukrainian and EU flags flying together
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As the EU Council decided on 13 June to prolong temporary protection for people displaced by the war in Ukraine until March 2026, over 130 civil society organisations call on the EU to go beyond temporary renewals and adopt a common, future-proof approach that would lead to long-term residence and that would prevent millions of people in the EU from becoming undocumented.

Temporary protection (as foreseen in the EU Temporary Protection Directive) allows millions of displaced people to reside, work, study and access health care and social protection in the EU. But one-year renewals (which are dependent on decisions taken by the EU Council), leave people in uncertainty about future prospects.

By focusing specifically on one-year renewals of temporary protection, little attention is paid to future scenarios where temporary protection might end, for instance if there is no longer a majority of member states supporting such renewals.

The Temporary Protection Directive foresees that once its protection regime ends, people are channelled into national asylum or migration procedures. But this comes with risks for both displaced people and national administrations. National administrations would risk being overwhelmed by a sudden surge in requests for permits on other grounds, including asylum. Beneficiaries of temporary protection would risk spending months in uncertainty, with less rights than those granted by temporary protection. For instance, a person seeking asylum is often not able to work in the first six months as they wait for the result of their asylum claim.

Because requirements for asylum, work and other residence permits are more stringent than those for temporary protection, and because of lengthy procedures and understaffed administrations, many would risk becoming undocumented.

The signatories urge the EU to propose timely, coordinated, collective and future-proof options for the transition out of temporary protection. This future-proof solution must grant the same level of rights as temporary protection but should last longer and give access to long-term residence permits.


Laetitia Van der Vennet, Senior Advocacy Officer, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants, said: “Failing to think about scenarios once temporary protection officially ends means that millions of people might fall through the cracks of bureaucracy and become undocumented. We need the EU to adopt a common permit that grants at least the same rights as temporary protection, lasts for at least two years and gives people access to longer-term residence in the EU”.

Katharine Woolrych, Advocacy Specialist, HIAS Europe, said: “A one-year extension of the TPD is a welcome move to ensure displaced people have continued access to status and rights. In parallel however we urgently need EU leadership to avoid an uncoordinated transition out of temporary protection. Perpetual renewals of “temporary” protection simply kick the can down the road.”

Ganna Dudinska, Senior Policy Advisor, International Rescue Committee, said: “While we welcome the decision to extend the temporary protection regime for one year to offer some predictability to displaced people, it does not provide a longer-term solution. The policymakers at the EU and national level should use this momentum to develop and offer displaced persons clear pathways to durability taking into consideration the specific needs of the most vulnerable individuals.”