Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Global Implications

What is the Temporary Protection Directive of the EU?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: TPD

Mains level: Refugee crisis of Ukranians

Responding to the crisis, EU Member States made the unprecedented decision to activate a major European Union’s Council Directive, known as the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD).

What is Temporary Protection?

  • The EU Commission describes “temporary protection” under the TPD as an “exceptional measure to provide immediate and temporary protection to displaced persons from non-EU countries and those unable to return to their country of origin”.
  • The directive applies when there is a risk that the standard asylum system is struggling to cope with demand stemming from a mass influx risking a negative impact on the processing of claims.

Objectives of this protection

  1. To both establish minimum standards for giving temporary protection to displaced persons
  2. To promote a balance of effort between Member States in receiving and bearing the consequences of receiving such persons

Why establish standards?

The Commission gives two reasons for doing so:

  • It reduces disparities between the policies of EU States on the reception and treatment of displaced persons in a situation of mass influx.
  • It promotes solidarity and burden-sharing among EU States with respect to receiving large numbers of potential refugees at one time.”

What obligations does the TPD place upon EU states?

According to the European Commission, the TPD “foresees harmonised rights for the beneficiaries of temporary protection”, which include:

  • Residence permit for the duration of the protection (which can last from 1-3 years),
  • Appropriate information on temporary protection,
  • Access to employment,
  • Access to accommodation or housing,
  • Access to social welfare or means of subsistence,
  • Access to medical treatment,
  • Access to education for minors,
  • Opportunities for families to reunite in certain circumstances, and
  • Guarantees for access to the normal asylum procedure

The TPD also contains provisions for the return of displaced persons to their country of origin, unless they have committed serious crimes or they “pose a threat to security from the benefit of temporary protection”.


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