The EU is giving constant support to Member States in meeting the needs of those fleeing the invasion of Ukraine. It offers assistance at the border, reception and civil protection. It helps Member States ensure access to education, healthcare, accommodation and jobs for those arriving from Ukraine.
KEY AREAS OF SUPPORT
Support for border management
The Commission has issued operational guidelines helping border guards in Member States to manage arrivals at the borders with Ukraine efficiently and reduce waiting time, while maintaining a high level of security. EU agencies are also providing extra staff and expertise to support Member States.
Support for health systems
The Commission has set up a dedicated European system for swift transfers of persons in need of medical care among EU Member States, supported by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The Commission is also working hand-in-hand with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Medicines Agency to provide public health guidance and training, monitor the supply of medicinal products and provide appropriate support to Member States.
Protection of children
The EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child provides a comprehensive framework for the protection and the fulfilment of the rights of the child. National coordinators now in place under the European Child Guarantee have a key role to play in galvanising and coordinating the effort at a national level and with regional and local authorities. The Commission is also preparing dedicated Standard Operating Procedures for transfers of unaccompanied minors.
Access to education
The Commission will bring together Member States to start sharing experiences and identify what is needed to continue the education of displaced children. The School Education Gateway will serve as a one-stop shop to link to educational material from Ukraine and Member States’ material in the Ukrainian language. Flexibility in the Erasmus+ funding programme will also be used to support the education of refugee students and the integration of staff of higher education institutions who are fleeing the war.
Access to accommodation and housing
To meet immediate needs for suitable accommodation, a new “safe homes” initiative will support Europeans who are making their homes available. The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, as well as Cohesion Policy funds, will be mobilised to strengthen public reception systems. In the longer term, the European Regional Development Fund will help to provide social housing for families and individuals in the community. The European Social Fund can support community-based services and accommodation, especially for those with special needs, disabilities, children and older people.
Access to jobs
Member States are invited to take measures to swiftly help those arriving to take up their right to work, as well as vocational training. The Commission has added the Ukrainian language to the EU Skills Profile Tool for non-EU nationals and will also pilot a new Talent Pool to match skills with job vacancies. The Commission is also working on developing new guidelines to facilitate recognition of professional qualifications obtained in Ukraine and working with social partners to help inform the private sector about the rights under temporary protection and the programmes available.
New operational guidelines on the Temporary Protection Directive will help those arriving to the EU, enjoy a consistent and effective level of rights. It will help Member States to shoulder their new responsibilities. The guidelines will be regularly updated to support Member States in meeting the day-to-day challenges and new situations they are confronted with.
SOLIDARITY IN ACTION
The Commission has set up a Solidarity Platform, bringing together Member States and EU Agencies, to coordinate support to Member States in need.
The platform will help organise the transfers of people within the EU to the Member States that have reception capacity. It can also help establish pathways towards non-EU countries that already host significant Ukrainian communities, such as Canada or the United Kingdom. Particular attention will be given to the most vulnerable cases, in particular children.
FAST AND FLEXIBLE SOLUTIONS TO FINANCE SOLIDARITY
The Commission has taken immediate action to help mobilise financial support to Member States hosting those fleeing the war against Ukraine.
The EU’s Home Affairs funds for 2021-27 will provide substantial resources for Member States to ensure adequate reception facilities and effective asylum procedures for people fleeing the invasion.
Following the Commission’s proposal “Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe” (CARE), Member States have the possibility to use remaining funds from cohesion funds of the 2014-2020 programming period to provide emergency support to people fleeing Ukraine and arriving to their territory. This includes investments in education, employment, housing, health and childcare services, but also basic material assistance like food and clothing.
In addition, the Commission has proposed to increase by €3.4 billion the total pre-financing from the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU). Once adopted by co-legislators, this immediate injection of liquidity will speed up Member States’ access to funds to spend on infrastructure, housing, equipment and services in employment, education, social inclusion, healthcare and childcare.
The Commission has also adopted a Temporary Crisis Framework enabling Member States to use the flexibly allowed under the State aid rules to support the economy in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market.