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Watch: The EU will use an untested law to support Ukrainian refugees. Here's how it works

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By Vassilis Glynos  & Jorge Liboreiro
The European Commission expects seven million Ukrainians to be displaced by the conflict.
The European Commission expects seven million Ukrainians to be displaced by the conflict.   -   Copyright  Marc Sanye/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved   -  

Millions of Ukrainians fleeing Russia's invasion of their country have arrived in Europe, raising challenges for the countries that are hosting them as well as for the European Union.

It has been described as the greatest human exodus since the end of World War II.

In order to manage the arrivals, EU member states have decided to activate the Temporary Protection Directive, a 2001 law that has never been used before.

The exceptional mechanism will allow Ukrainians to stay in the bloc for up to three years and have quick and easy access to residence permits, education, job opportunities, healthcare, housing, and social welfare.

All bureaucratic steps are being simplified to speed up the whole process, which works outside the usually overwhelmed asylum system.

"Everybody can have the protection directly, they can work, they can accommodation, children can go to school, there will be no waiting time here," said Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, who called the directive's activation a "historic" decision.

Brussels expects that over seven million Ukrainians will be displaced by the war.

Watch the video explainer to learn more about the Temporary Protection Directive.