Thursday Dec 15, 2022

The Ukrainian Displacement Crisis: A Conversation with the European Commission’s Director General for Migration and Home Affairs

As of November, more than 12.7 million crossings had been recorded into the European Union from Ukraine, with 4.5 million registered under the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD) or similar national protection. The exodus of those fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine beginning in February exceeded that of any recent humanitarian crisis in speed and scale and represents the largest displacement in Europe since World War II. European policymakers, the general public, and volunteers mobilized rapidly to respond.

Across the European Union there has been a generally strong welcome for those displaced from Ukraine, including the first-ever activation of the TPD, which opened quick residence and work rights. Recently, the European Commission extended TPD until March 2024.

But as winter approaches and the brutal conflict in Ukraine drags on, Europe is facing another set of challenges related to longer-term protection and integration for the newcomers. During this armchair discussion, Monique Pariat, the European Commission’s Director General for Migration and Home Affairs, reflects on Europe’s rapid and unprecedented response to the crisis; the tangible outcomes of TPD activation for Ukrainians and host societies alike; Ukrainians’ access to labor markets, education systems, and housing; and reform of the European asylum system.

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