28 Sep 2023 21:06

Council of EU agrees to extend Ukrainian refugees' temporary protection until March 4, 2025

BRUSSELS. Sept 28 (Interfax) - The member states of the European Union have agreed to extend temporary protection for Ukrainian refuges, the Council of the European Union said on Thursday.

"In order to provide certainty for more than 4 million Ukrainian refugees currently living in the EU, the Council agreed to extend the temporary protection [...] from March 4, 2024 to March 4, 2025," the council's statement published in Brussels said.

"The EU will support the Ukrainian people for as long as it takes. The prolongation of the protection status offers certainty to the more than four million refugees who have found a safe haven in the EU," Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gomez, acting interior minister of Spain, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, said.

The temporary protection mechanism was activated on March 4, 2022, and automatically extended for another year, the statement said. The temporary protection system provides "immediate and collective (i.e. without the need for the examination of individual applications) protection to displaced persons who are not in a position to return to their country of origin."

The objective is "to allow displaced persons to enjoy harmonized rights across the EU."

These rights include residence, access to the labor market and housing, medical assistance, social welfare assistance, and access to education for children.

Following this political agreement, the Council of the EU will make an official decision once legal proceedings and the translation of the document into all EU languages have taken place, the statement said.