Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Brussels, 27 February 2022

At an extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 27 February, home affairs ministers took stock of the response to provide to the consequences of the war in Ukraine.

Today we express our unity and our total solidarity with Ukraine and its people. The European Union and its Member States have provided, and will continue to provide, political, financial, humanitarian and logistical support in the face of Russian aggression.

Gérald Darmanin, French Minister of Interior

In order to monitor the situation, coordinate solidarity measures and involve all relevant actors, following this exchange, the Presidency decided to fully activate the EU Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) arrangements. A first technical meeting will be convened already tomorrow, Monday 28 February.

Ministers focused on the following five aspects:

Humanitarian support

On 15 February, Ukraine sought assistance under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The initial support offered within this framework mainly relates to healthcare and medical supplies, as well as accommodation capacities. Ministers gave a commitment to provide additional assistance and validated the idea of logistical support to facilitate getting those supplies into Ukraine.

Ministers also agreed on the need to provide all the necessary assistance to Moldova.

Reception of refugees

The war in Ukraine has led to an influx of people seeking refuge in the European Union. Reception capacity has been made available in several Member States, in particular in the countries bordering Ukraine. Ministers expressed their readiness to provide support, under EU coordination, to Member States which request it. Specific requests will be dealt with in the framework of the IPCR.

Ministers also discussed the possibility of establishing an appropriate temporary protection mechanism for the reception of these nationals. The Commission proposed activating the mechanism provided for by the 2001 directive on temporary protection. There were expressions of broad support for this measure, which will be submitted to the JHA Council without delay.

Management of the external borders

The decision to activate the ICPR will provide a platform for solidarity for managing the external borders, by mobilising all the available instruments and means for the benefit of the Member States on the front line.

Should the influx of people increase further, neighbouring countries could be offered support in conducting their tasks of security checks and registrations at borders. In that event, European instruments could be mobilised in order to contribute to that, notably in the form of support from Frontex and Europol. The Presidency commended the Commission’s proposal to propose recommendations on the conduct of security checks.

Measures on visas

On 25 February the Council adopted a decision on the partial suspension of the agreement on the facilitation of the issuance of visas with Russia. Diplomats, other Russian officials and businesspeople will no longer be able to benefit from the visa facilitation provisions, which allow privileged access to the EU.

Ministers agreed to coordinate their national measures and, in general, their visa policy towards Russia.

Furthermore, the Presidency asked the Member States not to recognise passports issued by the Russian authorities in the occupied territories in Ukraine. It also proposed a coordinated approach to end the practice of ‘golden passports’, which certain Russian leaders can obtain.

Anticipation of hybrid threats

Recent experience has shown that actors hostile to the EU are ready to use new means of pressure. In the context of the situation in Ukraine, Member States and the European Commission reviewed the preparedness measures taken at both national and European level. They agreed on the need to step up information exchange and coordination to respond rapidly and effectively to any attempt at destabilisation.

EU relations with Ukraine (background information)

EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine (background information)

Meeting information
  • Meeting n°3853
  • Brussels
  • 27 February 2022
  • 15:00
Preparatory documents
Outcome documents
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