Wednesday, April 17

The EU promotes a European platform to register Ukrainian refugees

  • the interior commissioner, ylva johanssonadmits that arrivals have slowed down but does not rule out a flood if the situation deteriorates in Ukraine

  • Spain has so far processed 25,000 applications for temporary protectionaccording to the interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska

Since the Army Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine a little over a month ago 3.8 million people have fled the country, half of them children. The pace of arrivals in the EU has slowed down and from the 200,000 people who left in the first few days, it has gone to about 50,000 people daily. Even so, the Twenty-seven are aware that reception needs could skyrocket if the 6.5 million internally displaced persons in Ukraine choose to leave the country and have endorsed a plan to strengthen cooperation and act in various areas . “Although the peak of arrivals is falling, we need contingency plans due to the deteriorating situation”, “more coordination to guarantee support to the affected countries” and “direct aid to refugees”, claimed the Commissioner for the Interior, ylva johanson.

The plan, developed between the European Commission and the French presidency of the EU, includes the creation of a registration platform for member states to exchange information on people applying for temporary protection. Currently, this information is only available nationally. The idea is to connect the registries through the EU-LISA agency so that there is more control over who enters the EU. The list also includes measures to coordinate the movement of refugees, maps on the “reception capacity” to help in the transfers and a “needs index” that allows evaluating the relative pressure of each Member State as well as a European contingency plan.

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Although arrival figures far exceed those recorded during the last migration crisis of 2015 and 2016on this occasion there will be no distribution quotas for Ukrainian refugees by Member States, although there are countries such as Germany that have requested greater distribution from the countries of arrival such as Hungary, Romania, Slovakia or Poland, which has welcomed more than 2 million and has promised to receive all those who arrive because “you cannot put limits on war refugees”, said its Minister of the Interior who has also asked for financial help from the EU. Who has asked for help has been Moldova, where more than 350,000 Ukrainians have arrived. The Twenty-seven have confirmed their commitment to host 14,500 for the time being.

Spain, country of destination

Although the vast majority of people who have fled Ukraine prefer to stay in the area, there are around a million who have moved to other EU countries, according to Johansson, although not all of them have launched the procedure to regulate their situation. For example, since the Twenty-seven agreed to activate the temporary protection directive, which allows Ukrainians to access a residence and work permit for one year that can be extended up to three, Spain has granted 25,000 requests for protectionas explained by the minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

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A figure that could increase in the coming days and weeks given that Ukrainians can move freely in the EU for up to 90 days without any additional requirements. What’s more, Spain takes it for granted that it will become one of the main reception destinations given that it has a community made up of 115,000 Ukrainian residents “perfectly settled and integrated” and that they will become a “vector” of attraction.

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“Reasonably we will be one of the most important host countries in the EU”, said today the minister who places Spain as the fourth country in the EU, behind Poland, Germany and Italy, with the most registered Ukrainian citizens. Grande-Marlaska has also confirmed the Government’s intention to allocate 1,200 million euros of European funds this year to the reception of refugees and the protection of the most vulnerable citizens, mainly women and children, and cooperation with Ukrainian institutions for the transfer of minors in vulnerable situations. Although the Spanish authorities have not yet detected risk situations, they work with the Ukrainian embassy and consular authorities and have prevention protocols in place.

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