As more than two million refugees flee war in Ukraine, mostly towards the EU, member states will have to continue showing solidarity, MEPs said on Tuesday (8 March).
In a plenary debate with Brigitte Klinkert, French Minister Delegate for Economic Inclusion, on behalf of the Council, and Commissioner Ylva Johansson, MEPs highlighted the dramatic humanitarian and refugee situation caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine. They praised frontline states for their extraordinary engagement so far, but warned that sustained solidarity across the EU will be necessary in the long-term. Speakers unanimously condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Commissioner Ylva Johansson stressed the extraordinary pressure on member states sharing borders with Ukraine: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, as well as Republic of Moldova. The EU rose to the challenge when the Council unanimously activated the temporary protection mechanism, providing solidarity across the EU, by supporting the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the Red Cross working on the ground, and via the activation of €500 million in humanitarian aid.
MEPs also welcomed the EU’s swift response, ensuring protection to those fleeing from Ukraine, and called for sufficient financial aid to maintain support in the medium- and long-term. Some speakers wished to see concrete progress on the reform of the EU’s migration and asylum rules, with others stressing that all refugees, regardless of their ethnicity, need the same protection.
You can watch the debate again here.
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