The Temporary Protection Directive (TPD) was invoked over a year ago to address the urgent needs of persons fleeing the war in Ukraine. This Information Sheet provides an update on the situation of implementation as of 31 March 2023. The document has been expanded to cover access to the rights listed in the TPD, as well as access to rights for certain categories of vulnerable persons, namely unaccompanied minors, persons with disabilities, and survivors of human trafficking.
Most states provide relatively limited information on the support and assistance available to vulnerable persons arriving from Ukraine. With the exception of Lithuania, most states do not automatically recognise disability certificates issued in Ukraine. As a result, Third Country Nationals (TCNs) with disabilities have to undergo the recognition procedure that is required for nationals of the country, which can be a lengthy and challenging process. It is important that states take steps to ensure that vulnerable TCNs receive the support and assistance they need, including streamlining recognition procedures for disability certificates to facilitate access to suitable accommodation, appropriate healthcare, education, and other services.
The Information Sheet also includes a summary of state practice regarding the consequences of pendular movements to and from Ukraine. According to the summary, returning to Ukraine may result in the loss of temporary protection status in some states, as seen in the practices of Malta and Switzerland. Additionally, returning to Ukraine may also result in the loss of social benefits for some Temporary Protection Beneficiaries (TPBs). It is important for TPBs to be aware of the potential consequences of returning temporarily to Ukraine and to seek guidance from relevant authorities before making any decisions. The temporary protection status should be granted for the duration of the temporary protection regime, which was extended by the European Union until 4 March 2024.
The Information Sheet provides a summary of state practices on prolongation. Most European countries have prolonged the duration of the temporary protection regime until 4 March 2024. However, there are states that have extended the duration of residence documents for a shorter term (Italy, Portugal) or for a longer period (Czech Republic, Romania). The scope of application of the TPD remains largely unchanged. The Netherlands has decided to both revoke its decision to narrow the scope and to extend temporary protection until 4 September 2023 for TCNs with temporary residence in Ukraine.
In terms of access to rights, access to suitable accommodation remains one of the biggest challenges in the temporary protection regime, and some countries, such as the Czech Republic and Poland, are implementing new rules with regards to temporary accommodation solutions. There are varied practices when it comes to the provision of other rights, including access to social welfare and means of subsistence, access to medical care, labour market and education.