Ukrainian refugees: EU member states agree to extend temporary protection

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 for people fleeing from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine from 4 March 2024 to 4 March 2025.

The temporary protection mechanism was activated on 4 March 2022 – only a few days after Russian armed forces launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine – and it was automatically extended by one year.

What is temporary protection?

The 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 alleviate pressure on national asylum systems and to allow displaced persons to enjoy harmonised rights across the EU. These rights include:

  • residence
  • access to the labour market and housing
  • medical assistance
  • social welfare assistance
  • access to education for children