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EU responses to Ukrainian arrivals – not (yet) a blueprint

Marie De Somer , Alberto-Horst Neidhardt

Date: 14/10/2022
In her recent State of the Union speech, European Commission President von der Leyen stressed that the EU’s welcome responses to Ukrainians fleeing war should not be the exception but rather be used as a “blueprint” for the future.

Applying lessons from this response to Ukrainian arrivals to inform decision-making around other groups of refugees would undoubtedly benefit EU decision-making processes in this area and, more importantly, strengthen the protection standards provided. But how much scope is there for doing so? And what is politically realistic?

This paper argues that overly optimistic projections are, for the time being, misdirected. We review the discussions surrounding the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD) and highlight how, despite the generally positive response, previous political sticking points have re-emerged in the process. We also consider the bigger-picture, long-term implications of activating the TPD.

In this context, we consider several potentially positive impacts, including increased trust and a sense of reinvigoration around migration files. Even there, however, initial discussions within the EU institutions would suggest that longstanding national positions, particularly around secondary movements, remain entrenched.

Read the full paper here.
Photo credits:
Patrick T.Fallon / AFP

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