Migration and Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine

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from: 11:30
to: 13:00

A roundtable discussion on trends, EU solidarity, actors and challenges regarding Ukrainian migration.

Panelists on this roundtable will share critical perspectives on the impact of the war in Ukraine on migration in Europe. This roundtable is part of MPC Annual Conference on Continuities and Change in a Migration World taking place at the EUI from 23 to 25 May.


Join the live stream on 23 May from 11:30-13:00 CEST.


Chair: Andrew Geddes | EUI, RSCAS, MPC


Marta Pachocka | Centre of Migration Research

Poland’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine: actions, actors and challenges in a multi-level setting


On 24th February 2022, the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, questioning the legitimacy of the statehood of this country and the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people. It was a continuation of the Russian armed aggression that had started much earlier with the unfounded annexation of Crimea in 2014. The current situation is, in fact, the war that Russia is waging on the territory of neighbouring Ukraine. This resulted in people’s escape on an unprecedented scale in Europe after World War II. As of early May 2022, within more than two months of the aggression, the number of refugees amounted to 5.6 million people (UNHCR). The main host countries for them are the EU Member States and the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, Russia carries out the forced resettlement of the Ukrainian population to its territory. Poland is the primary receiving country of asylum seekers, which amounts to over 3 million people. This speech aims to present the refugee crisis in Poland in the first weeks after Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis that followed in that country. We will show Poland’s response to these events, mapping key state and non-state actors, including the crucial role of NGOs and local governments (both in border towns – Przemysl, and in big cities – Warsaw, Cracow, Lublin, Wroclaw, Gdansk, etc.), vast support of volunteers and the Ukrainian diaspora (social solidarity), steps taken by the Polish government and supporting role of IOs (EU, UNHCR, IOM, etc.).


Olena Malynovska | National Institute For Strategic Studies

Trends in Ukrainian migration: past, present and uncertain future


The COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on cross-border movements have had a significant impact on migration around the world, including Ukraine. However, their consequences cannot even be compared with those of the attack of the Russian Federation. As a result of large-scale military actions, millions of Ukrainians have fled their homes. More than 5 million citizens went abroad. Despite the extreme nature of the contemporary situation, it should be borne in mind that migration is a rather inertial process. It is greatly influenced by previous migrations, established migration links. Therefore, the analysis of the main trends of migration of the population of Ukraine in the previous period can help to make assumptions about their future.


Marie De Somer | European Policy Centre

EU solidarity and responsibility-sharing in light of the Ukrainian refugee emergency


The presentation will explore the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive against the background of continued EU discussions around responsibility-sharing and solidarity over refugees. It will argue that the positive response to the Ukrainian refugee emergency is, unfortunately, not the harbinger of more constructive debates around solidarity to come. In activating the Temporary Protection Directive, Member States were careful not to touch on the political fault lines that have divided positions on this in the past. At the same time, in the context of the application of that Directive as well as in a broader sense, we continue to observe the continued reticence of some Member States against any responsibility-sharing that goes beyond financial or operational assistance.’