ON 27 FEBRUARY, THE 27 COUNTRIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ADOPTED DIRECTIVE 2001/55/EC ON THE PROTECTION OF DISPLACED PERSONS (REFUGEES).
Since Russia started the war against Ukraine, more than a million people have fled the country to neighbouring countries. This has prompted the 27 EU countries to adopt and activate the directive on the protection of displaced persons, also known as refugees.
What is Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 based on?
Last February, EU Member States gave the green light to legislation that was passed after the Balkan wars, following the disintegration of Yugoslavia, but had not been adopted until today.
This Directive aims to provide protection to persons who have fled Ukraine and entitles them to remain on the territory of the European Union. This implies an obligation for Member States to ensure:
- Residence permit for the whole family unit
- Access to the job market
- Right to a home
- Medical and social assistance
This protection will be valid for 1 year, renewable every 6 months up to a total of 3 years. In addition, in order to be included in the system, they must lack economic resources and comply with the rest of the requirements established in the system’s management manual.
In addition, the Secretary of State has established a maximum period of 3 months for refugees in EU countries to formalize their wish to apply for protection.
Ukrainians who have been on EU territory since before the Russian invasion and are unable to return to their country will also be eligible for this measure.
Do regulations protect all refugees in the same way?
No, the situation changes for those who do not hold a Ukrainian passport.
The status of third-country nationals who were long-term residents in Ukraine is at the discretion of each EU Member State, which can decide whether or not to apply it.
For those who were studying or working in Ukraine, the situation is complicated, as they will be repatriated to their home countries.
If you would like more information on how the Directive as approved by the EU Member States works, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Expatriation and Impatriation Area
Author: Sheila Artigas, lawyer at Expatfeliu