A seemingly obsolete mechanism activated : temporary protection for forcibly displaced Ukrainians - a paradigm change of the European Union on how to deal with future mass influx situations?

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Fridl, Susanne
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The European Union faced an extreme mass influx situation, after Russian armed forces launched a large-scale aggression in Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The European Union reacted promptly with the activation of the temporary protection mechanism on 2 March 2022 for Ukrainians fleeing the war in order to ensure a high protection standard. However, this mechanism has so far been never used since its implementation within the Temporary Protection Directive 2001 - despite the fact that the European Union faced several mass influx situations in the past. This research aims to answer the question if the activation of the Directive can be considered as a paradigm shift of the European Union on how to deal with the predicted mass influxes of the future, stemming from European as well as non-European countries - or if the activation of the Directive can be seen as circumstantial and only applicable in the Ukrainian case. The study sheds light on the temporary protection regime, its challenges and advantages and aims to answer the question if temporary protection in the concrete form is a promising approach to deal with future mass influx situations. Furthermore, it elaborates on the previous mass influx situations since the implementation of the Directive, the failed activation requests of the past and on the EU’s approach to deal with these previous mass exodus situations. The study further focuses particularly on the question why the Temporary Protection Directive has been seemingly obsolete for the last 21 years and compares these reasons to the prompt activation in 2022. Taking all these aspects into account, recommendations to overcome the challenges and ensure a high protection standard for all future mass influx situations are developed at the end of the research.
Second semester University: University of Seville
displaced persons, Ukraine, European Union, protection