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  • Writer's pictureHelping Irish Hosts

The EU Must Provide Future-Proof Solutions for People Displaced from Ukraine

As the temporary protection to millions of displaced Ukrainians in Europe is set to expire, over 130 civil society organizations urge the European Union to provide continued support and protection.


With temporary protection set to expire on 4 March 2025, EU leadership is urgently needed to ensure millions of people displaced from Ukraine have continued access to rights and inclusion in Europe. As 131 civil society organisations, we call on the EU to propose timely, coordinated, collective and future-proof options for the transition out of temporary protection. Without a common European approach, millions of people risk becoming undocumented and losing access to rights, protection and other essential services, national authorities will likely be overwhelmed, and much of the inclusion work of governments, municipalities, NGOs and volunteers risks being undone.


Act now to prevent hardship later 

With less than one year of protection remaining, people are now left with the practical and emotional impacts of an uncertain future. Some face the prospect of registering children for school without knowing if they can complete the school year, others struggle to secure work or housing as their permits expire in March 2025. This uncertainty may trigger premature returns to Ukraine – where many people lack access to essential services and face daily safety risks. It could also result in mass applications for asylum and other residence permits, leading to backlogs and delayed access to protection. 


  • The EU must ACT NOW to plan and coordinate the transition out of temporary protection, in order to prevent unsafe returns, loss of residence status, or unnecessary pressure on migration systems, and to allow authorities, civil society and displaced people to prepare.

  • Displaced people must be informed and consulted on the options available to them.

Pursue a united EU response 

If temporary protection ends without a collective European response, access to rights for people who fled Ukraine may vary drastically across Member States. Migration ministers noted in January that “adopting 27 different national legislations on this topic would be counterproductive, result in secondary movements, and cause uncertainty.” Without common standards, there is a risk of a race to the bottom on rights and services. In many countries there are no or few appropriate permits available. This could particularly disadvantage individuals in vulnerable situations – such as stateless persons, refugees and asylum seekers who fled Ukraine, Roma, people with care-giving responsibilities, and older people – who risk losing their current access to rights, being redirected to ill-fitting residence permits, or becoming undocumented.


  • The EU should prioritise a COMMON and COORDINATED approach to prevent people from becoming undocumented or switching to permits with fewer or different rights.

  • In parallel, Member states should ensure access to residence permits on various grounds, including asylum, work, the principle of non-refoulement and private life.


Look to the future

If the above measures cannot be taken in time, a further extension of temporary protection – as is currently under discussion – would be a vital stopgap to ensure continued access to residence status and rights. However, piecemeal, yearly extensions of temporary protection risk perpetuating a state of insecurity that hinders displaced people from planning for their future, whether in Ukraine or in the EU. The EU has a range of options for more durable solutions that should be explored in parallel to any extension. 


  • The EU should pursue FUTURE-PROOF solutions that offer at least the same standard of rights as temporary protection, and which protect at least the same groups of people.

  • Solutions should be developed that can benefit other temporary protection holders in future. 

  • These solutions should be informed by the needs and experiences of displaced people as well as civil society and other stakeholders assisting them.


List of signatories: 


European and international organisations

ADRA Europe

AMERA International

Amnesty International

Asociatia Sprijin Pentru Comunitatea Ucraineana

CARE International

Caritas Europa

Child Circle

Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME)

Danish Refugee Council

EASPD

EuroMed Rights

European Evangelical Alliance

European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL)

European Network Against Racism (ENAR)

European Network on Statelessness

HIAS Europe

Housing Europe

International Rescue Committee

La Strada International

Médecins Du Monde – International Network

Methoria

Migration Policy Group

Missing Children Europe

OpenEmbassy

Oxfam

PICUM – Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants

Social Platform

SOLIDAR

SOS Children’s Villages International

The European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe)

Vitsche e.V.

 

National organisations

Aditus Foundation

ADPARE

ANAIS Association

ARSIS Association for the Social Support of Youth

Association for Integration and Migration, SIMI

Association for intercultural work

Association for Legal Intervention

Better Days Greece

CARUSEL Romania

Centre for Peace Studies

Centrum pro integraci cizinců, o. p. s.

Clare Immigrant Support Centre

CoMensha

Community Law & Mediation

Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations in the Czech Republic

CSO “La Strada-Ukraine”

Defence for Children – The Netherlands

Diakonie ČCE-SCPS

Doras

Dutch Council for Refugees

Equilibrium NGO (Громадська організація “Точка рівноваги”)

EQUITA

FairWork

Feminist Lodge

Finnish Refugee Advice Centre

Forum réfugiés

Fundatia Inima de Copil

Foundation for Access to Rights – FAR

Foundation for Migrants “Dobry Start” in Memory of A. G. Farah

Fundacja HelpNowHub ГО Позитивні жінки Херсон

Fundacja Imago

Greek Council for Refugees

Greek Forum of Migrants

Helping Irish Hosts

Humanitarna organizacija Jesuit Refugee Service

Immigrant Council of Ireland

Initiative for Social Change ARSIS

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Malta

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Romania

Jewish Representative Council of Ireland (Ukraine Support Programme)

Kalyna – Komunitní uprchlické centrum, z. s.

Kerk in Actie

KISA (Cyprus)

Kopin (Malta)

Kuchnia Konfliktu / Conflict Kitchen

LGBT Ireland

MigAid (A Segítők Egyesület)

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland

Migration Consortium

Most pro o.p.s.

Movimiento por la Paz (MPDL)

NewBees

NGO Bilozerka center for regional development (Ukraine)

NGO Zhiva-Ya

Nordic Ukraine Forum

OPORA Foundation

ORBIT

Organization for Aid to Refugees (OPU)

PA International Center “La Strada” Moldova

PATCHWORK Association for Immigrant Families of Persons with Disabilities

People in Need

Right to Protection

SOFT tulip Foundation

SolidarityNow

Spark 15

Stichting voor Vluchtelingen-Studenten UAF

Swedish Refugee Law Center

The Federation of Nongovernmental Organisations for Social Services – FONSS

The Human Rights League

The Open Doors Initiative

United For Changes

Vatra Psycho Social Center

WA Sphere (ГО “ХЖО “Сфера”)

Willi Eichler Akademie e.V.

Women in Media NGO

ГО “Зв’язок ”

ГС “ІМД “Відкрите суспільство”

Жіночий Центр “Підтримка, Захист та Трубота”

Когорта

Національна Рада Жінок України

Хмельницька обласна ГО Подільський центр “Гендерна рада”

Школа Рівних Можливостей

 

Local and community groups

ABBA Student Association

BIPoC Ukraine and friends in Germany

Blue Door Education

Cairde

Chief Rabbinate of Poland

Cultur Migrant Centre

CUSBU: CommUnities Support for BIPoC Refugees from Ukraine

Diakonie ČCE – středisko Západní Čechy

Jewish Community of Łódź

Migrant Women Associations Malta

Migrationsrat Berlin e.V.

NestingPlay

Romodrom, o.p.s.

South Kerry Development Partnership CLG

Waterford Area Partnership

Women for Integration and Wellbeing

Yoga and Sport with Refugees

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