Temporary protection if there is a mass influx of displaced people
Directive 2001/55/EC on the rules for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and measures promoting a balance of efforts between EU Member States
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THIS DIRECTIVE?
It sets up a scheme to deal with mass arrivals in the European Union (EU) of foreign nationals who cannot return to their countries, in particular due to war, violence or human rights violations.
It puts in place immediate temporary protection for these displaced people.
It promotes a balance of efforts between EU Member States in receiving people. However, it does not require compulsory distribution of asylum seekers across Member States.
Denmark is not participating in the directive.
Implementation of temporary protection
Temporary protection is implemented in all Member States by a decision of the Council of the European Union confirming a mass influx of displaced people to the EU and stating the groups of people who need protection.
The duration is 1 year but it can be extended by up to 2 years.
Protection may end if the Council deems it safe for people to return to their home country.
Member States must ensure that displaced people are willing to come to their country.
Exclusions from temporary protection
Some people may be excluded from temporary protection.
This includes people who are:
- crimes against peace*,
- war crimes,
- crimes against humanity,
- serious non-political crimes;
acting against the purposes and principles of the United Nations;
a danger to security in the host Member State.
Effects of temporary protection
Member States must give people who are granted temporary protection a residence permit. This permit is valid for the full duration of protection.
People granted temporary protection have the right to:
- be employed or self-employed;
- access adult education, vocational training and work experience;
- suitable accommodation;
- social welfare, financial support and medical care.
Children under 18 will also have the right to education under the same conditions as nationals of the host Member State.
If some members of the same family have been granted temporary protection in different Member States, or if some family members are not yet in the EU, they must have the right to be reunited in the same Member State.
These rules are in line with the EU rules on receiving applicants for international protection set out in Directive 2013/33/EU (see summary).
People granted temporary protection must be able to lodge an application for asylum. The Member State that receives the person is responsible for examining the application.
However, Member States may decide that someone who has been granted temporary protection cannot have the status of asylum seeker at the same time.
This helps Member States to reduce the burden on their asylum system by offering temporary protection while postponing the examination of asylum applications.
Directive 2013/32/EU sets out common EU rules for granting and withdrawing international protection (see summary).
Ending temporary protection
During protection, or when temporary protection ends, Member States must take steps to enable the voluntary return of protected people.
If enforced return is necessary, Member States must make sure there is due respect for human dignity and that there are no compelling humanitarian reasons that would make return impossible.
People who cannot travel for health reasons cannot be forced to return until their health improves.
Families whose children are under 18 and attend school may be allowed to stay until the end of the school year.
Russian war of aggression against Ukraine
Following Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Council adopted an implementing act, Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382, establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Directive 2001/55/EC and having the effect of introducing temporary protection. This is the first instance where such a decision has been adopted in the context of Directive 2001/55/EC.
Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 applies to:
- Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
- stateless persons and nationals of non-EU countries other than Ukraine who benefited from international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022; and
- family members of the persons listed above.
The measures laid down by the directive benefit from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund set up under Regulation (EU) No 516/2014. If the number of displaced people exceeds the reception capacity indicated by Member States, the Council will take appropriate measures, in particular by recommending additional support for the Member States affected.
FROM WHEN DO THE RULES APPLY?
The directive had to be transposed into national law by 31 December 2002.
For further information, see:
Crime against peace. Under international law, it means planning, preparing, initiating or waging a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participating in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of these.
Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof (OJ L 212, 7.8.2001, pp. 12–23).
Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022 establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Article 5 of Directive 2001/55/EC, and having the effect of introducing temporary protection (OJ L 71, 4.3.2022, pp. 1–6).
Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection (OJ L 180, 29.6.2013, pp. 60–95).
Directive 2013/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (OJ L 180, 29.6.2013, pp. 96–116).
Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, amending Council Decision 2008/381/EC and repealing Decisions No 573/2007/EC and No 575/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Decision 2007/435/EC (OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, pp. 168–194).
Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
last update 26.07.2022