Joint statement by the European Commission and the High Representative
As World Refugee Day approaches, we stand with all those forced to leave their homes around the world.
Amid the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, the EU has taken decisive action to provide protection to those fleeing Russia’s war on Ukraine and secure humanitarian aid in the country and among its neighbours.
Last year, at this time, it would be unthinkable for 14 million people to be forced by Russian aggression to leave their homes in a single country at the gates of the European Union. This is the largest movement of people in Europe since the end of World War II.
The EU and its Member States have supported Ukrainians, offering refuge to more than 6 million people who have fled to neighboring countries, mainly to Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia but also the Republic of Moldova. The majority of those fleeing are women and children. Children who should never have to hide from bombs and experience the horrors of war.
To this end, the EU activated the Temporary Protection Directive and has since granted temporary protection status to nearly 3.4 million people, giving them access to the EU labor market, adequate housing , social assistance, medical care and education.
Today, more than 100 million people are forcibly displaced around the world, from Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Myanmar to Venezuela or Burkina Faso. Working hand in hand with the UN and the international community, the EU remains one of the main humanitarian and development donors helping affected populations to access food, shelter, education, healthcare , housing, land, livelihood support and other basic services in situations around the world. Let us not forget that more than 80% of refugees in the world are hosted in developing countries.
Now more than ever, the EU remains committed to supporting people forced to leave their homes around the world. We will continue to work towards political solutions to end the reasons why people flee.
The European Union maintains that the right to seek and enjoy asylum, as well as the principle of non-refoulement, as enshrined in the 1951 Convention on Refugees and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of EU, must be observed at all times.
The EU and its Member States make an important contribution to global resettlement efforts. Since 2015, EU resettlement programs have helped over 97,000 vulnerable refugees find refuge in EU Member States, particularly in the context of the Syrian regional crisis and, more recently, the Afghan crisis. . In July 2022, the European Commission will launch the next engagement exercise to ensure EU resettlement efforts continue in the years to come.
Through the Pact on Migration and Asylum, we will further strengthen our commitments beyond our borders, pursuing these goals hand in hand with partner countries.