Europe, protect people fleeing war!

To Interior Ministers of EU Member States


Urgently approve the Temporary Protection Directive and simplify the procedures of people fleeing war regardless of citizenship or skin colour. Procedures must be simplified to ensure that those at the border can enter without the need of a passport.

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Why is this important?

Update - 15 March 2022

On 3rd March Europe’s interior ministers unanimously agreed to invoke the Temporary Protection Directive for the first time in history. Ukrainian citizens and non-EU citizens living in Ukraine who are unable to safely return to their country of origin will quickly get residence permits in EU countries. They will be able to work and have access to medical assistance. This is a monumental win for people on the move everywhere. But, unless national governments decide otherwise, there are still some people who will be left behind - foreign students and temporary workers. Moreover, this is a win on paper and it’s how EU countries take that paper, and turn it into practice that is key. We need to make sure Europe protects ALL people fleeing war.


Tomorrow morning, EU interior ministers will decide on a common plan to support refugees arriving in the EU from Ukraine.

They could decide to activate a law never used before that will give asylum seekers the right to move freely in Europe, have the right to work and get access to accommodation and key services. [1]

Out of 27 ministers from our countries, we need 15 to vote in favour. It’s looking positive, we know there is a lot of support, but it’s far from a done deal.

More than 500,000 Ukrainians have fled their country since the Russian invasion started. [2] It’s not only Ukrainian citizens who are queueing to leave, but also foreign students, and people who previously received asylum in Ukraine. Europe must protect everyone regardless of citizenship or skin colour.

This means not only agreeing to give people the right to live and work in Europe but also removing barriers to actual entry, like the need for a passport. Many people have never travelled abroad and do not own a passport. They must also make sure people of colour and foreigners in Ukraine are not treated differently. [3]

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  1. This law would be the Temporary Protection Directive, which is an exceptional measure to provide immediate and temporary protection to displaced persons from non-EU countries and those unable to return to their country of origin.
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