Temporary Protection Is Not a Permanent Solution

Temporary protection guarantees refugees the right to health care, education, work and social support but it is not a permanent solution

5 April 2022

It is not for a week, not for a month, maybe not even for the summer. The refugee crisis triggered by Putin’s Russia’s aggression against Ukraine will need long-term solutions, for which the Czech Republic is not yet preparing. Ukrainian refugees may stay for years or forever.

Both the Czech Republic and the EU are patting themselves on the back for how they are managing — surprising to many — to deal with the huge refugee wave. A wave that has already produced more than three and a half million refugees in such a short period of time and of such a size is unprecedented. The problem is that this is only the first hit, after which long-term solutions must come.

Solutions for which neither the European Union nor the Czech Republic is nearly as well prepared for as it might seem when looking at the handling of the influx of refugees from Ukraine. Neither technically, financially, nor legislatively. Kateřina Wolfová from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs points this out. For now, refugees in Poland, the Czech Republic and other EU countries are accepted on the basis of ‘temporary protection.’ This is different from granting asylum or permanent residence in a given country.

The situation has been made easier by the fact that as Kateřina Wolfová also noted, for the first time in history, ‘temporary protection’ has been granted to refugees from Russian aggression-affected Ukraine across the EU. Refugees have thus been given the opportunity to decide for themselves which Member State they want to stay in. Many have chosen the Czech Republic, which is not adjacent to Ukraine. The number of Ukrainian refugees in Germany is also growing significantly.


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Luboš Palata

EU editor of the Czech newspaper Deník and former Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Slovak daily Pravda.


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