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Brussels extends Ukrainian refugee rights to live and work in EU until 2024

People fleeing the conflict in neighboring Ukraine cross the border in Przemysl, Poland, Feb. 27, 2022.
People fleeing the conflict in neighboring Ukraine cross the border in Przemysl, Poland, Feb. 27, 2022. Copyright Petr David Josek/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Petr David Josek/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
By Vincenzo Genovese
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The Temporary Protection Directive was activated following the outbreak of war in the country.

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The European Commission will prolong measures giving Ukrainian refugees rights within in the EU until March 2024.

The Temporary Protection Directive, a legal instrument that was activated following the Russian invasion, allows people fleeing Ukraine to live and work within the EU.

Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs also said that it will now be extended to cover those who want to go back to the warn torn country, but fear losing their protection

"A lot of Ukrainians that have come and asked for temporary protection are now going back home, because they would like to rebuild their country, and I welcome that," Johansson said. "And they have to deregister from the temporary protection, but many of those are hesitant to do that, because they think that they might need to flee again.

"We can see this morning with bombs that are falling in Kyiv again. So that’s why we have made the decision: it’s not necessary to deregister, only to notify that you are leaving the EU and going back home. So it’s important to notify but you can keep your card."

In parallel, a new online job-search tool, called EU Talent Pool, was launched to help Ukrainians in need to work. Everyone who benefits from temporary protection can register and upload their skills and CV in order to be matched with employers’ requests and vacancies. 

According to Eurostat, 250,000 Ukrainians are officially registered as job seekers in 18 EU countries. And some of them are struggling to find employment

Euronews spoke to Karyna Kokhlova, a 23 year-old refugee in Belgium forced to flee the city of Mariupol. She arrived in April with a bachelor's degree in computer science and has been sending hundreds of job applications.

"Especially with project management positions, you need more than English. You need to speak French or Dutch, or even both at the same time," Kokhlova explained.

"And also I don't have so much experience, just one year. Some positions require five years of experience for assistant project manager positions. I have only one [year], but it is impossible to have five if you are only 22."

Participation in the EU Talent Pool project is voluntary for member states, but the Commission hopes countries will continue to help those fleeing the war by taking part.

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