The European Commission is allocating 500 million euros for humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The money is intended to alleviate the needs of citizens and provide for refugees, President Ursula von der Leyen said during a special session in the European Parliament.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a “moment of truth,” she said. “The future of this continent is at stake.” So not only does the EU respond with heavy sanctions against Russia, but also with aid to Ukraine. The 500 million comes in addition to the 500 million from the EU budget to purchase and supply arms and other equipment for Ukraine.
During the session, von der Leyen expressed special thanks to Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary, Ukraine’s four EU neighbours, “for hosting the thousands of men, women and children who fled the Russian bombs. They are welcome, and so we are proposing a temporary emergency scheme to give these refugees a safe status, with access to schools, medical care and work,” she said.
To this end, the executive board of the EU wants to activate a unique emergency scheme for refugees, which was designed after the war in the former Yugoslavia but has never been used. This gives Ukrainian refugees a special right of residence in the EU. Thanks to a partnership agreement with the EU, they can already stay in the EU for 90 days without a visa, but under the emergency regulation, that is a year. This period can also be extended.