The countries of the European Union closed this Thursday a political agreement to grant temporary protection to refugees arriving from Ukraine, who this morning were almost a million, by means of a 2001 directive that will be activated for the first time.
“Historic agreement on the occasion of the meeting of EU Interior Ministers. The Union European will grant temporary protection to those fleeing the war in Ukraine“The French minister, Gérald Darmanin, who holds the six-month presidency of the Council, wrote on his Twitter account.
The European Commissioner for the Interior, Ylva Johansson, stressed that “the EU is united to save lives”.
Member states gave the green light to legislation that was passed after the Balkan wars after the disintegration of Yugoslavia but had not been activated to date.
In particular, it will make it easier for people who have fled Ukraine, whatever Member State they are in, a residence permit, access to the labor market and housing, and medical and social assistance.
Spain said on Thursday that it supported activating legislation to give temporary protection to refugees.
“Spain, of course, will support the activation of the temporary protection directive that will give Ukrainian citizens who are fleeing from this situation of being able to move freely around the countries of the Union and even being able to reside“, indicated upon arrival at the meeting the Spanish Secretary of State for Security, Rafael Pérez Ruiz.
Pérez Ruiz explained that Spain has a significant diaspora of Ukrainians, between 100,000 and 120,000 people who will serve as a base to help to his compatriots who fled the war.
The meeting of ministers this Thursday took place after the emergency meeting that the same holders held last Sunday, after which the activation of the regulations began to be prepared.
EU legislation is designed in particular to offer immediate protection to people who arrive en masse on EU territory and they cannot return to their countries because of war, violence or human rights violations.
In principle one year is applicable, expandable up to three and would also be extended to non-Ukrainian citizens but residents in that country.