EU home affairs ministers to decide on extension of temporary protection for Ukrainians fleeing the war
EU home affairs ministers will gather in Brussels on 28 September for a meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council. Items on the agenda include the situation in Ukraine and migration issues. Finland will be represented by Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen. The Spanish Presidency is seeking political agreement between the EU Member States on extending temporary protection for Ukrainians.
“Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine continues and there is a steady number of Ukrainians arriving in the EU. The Government Programme states that Finland will provide full assistance to people who have fled the war in Ukraine. We therefore support the proposal to extend temporary protection,” says Minister Rantanen.
The protection mechanism enabled by the temporary protection directive was first introduced in the EU after Russia launched its war of aggression in Ukraine in March 2022. The aim was to ensure that Ukrainians fleeing the war have a harmonised status and rights in the different EU Member States.
In addition, the temporary protection mechanism prevents the need to immediately apply for international protection, which alleviates the pressure on Member States' asylum systems. At the moment, slightly over 4 million people enjoying temporary protection are registered in the EU.
EU cooperates with Ukraine on internal security
The home affairs ministers will also receive an update on internal security cooperation between Ukraine and the EU Member States. The aim is to respond to any internal security threats posed by Russia's war of aggression. The purpose is to intensify operational cooperation in four key sectors: border security, arms smuggling, foreign extremist fighters and other risks to internal security.
“The development of internal security in Ukraine is important not only for Ukraine itself but also for Europe as a whole. That is why it is important that we as the European Union are committed to supporting Ukraine,” Rantanen says.
We need sustainable partnerships with countries of origin and transit
The ministers will also discuss preparedness for and prevention of extraordinary migratory situations. At EU level, efforts will be made to prevent migration crises and extraordinary situations, especially by developing partnerships with countries of origin and transit.
Irregular migration to the European Union has continued to grow this year. At the moment, migration is particularly concentrated on the Central Mediterranean route from Tunisia and Libya to Italy. This year, more than half of the entries into the EU have been detected on this route. In July 2023, the EU concluded a cooperation agreement with Tunisia to support, for example, migration and border management in Tunisia. However, cooperation has not yet begun as hoped.
“The EU must build sustainable partnerships with third countries to better manage migration to the Union. Compliance with the EU–Tunisia agreement must be monitored and its implementation enhanced. This is important for the EU's credibility and to learn lessons for possible future agreements with third countries,” Minister Rantanen says.
Reform of the Common European Asylum System is progressing
The home affairs ministers will receive an update on the trilogue negotiations currently under way between the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament on the reform of the Common European Asylum System. At the moment, the Council's position is still being formulated on the proposal for a regulation addressing situations of crisis and force majeure in the field of migration and asylum. The Spanish Presidency is seeking to reach a general approach of the Council on the proposal for the crisis regulation as soon as possible.
The purpose of the crisis regulation is to lay down provisions on derogations to the application of the regulations on migration management and the asylum procedure in situations covered by the crisis regulation. For example, the regulation covers situations in which migration is used as an instrument for hybrid influence activities. The crisis regulation forms a whole especially with the proposal for a regulation on migration management.
Laura Yli-Vakkuri, Director General, tel. +358 40 720 22 16, [email protected]
Piia Manninen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 295 488 295, piia.[email protected] (requests for interviews with Minister Rantanen)