The European Commission has decided to extend the Temporary Protection Directive until March 2024. This instrument allows people coming from Ukraine to reside in the European Union while escaping war.

The directive was implemented in March 2022 shortly after the Russian invasion began. Brussels also extends its protection to those Ukrainians who want to return to their country but fear losing their protection status, euronews reported.

“Many Ukrainians who came here and asked for temporary protection are now returning home because they want to rebuild their country, and I welcome that. They have to withdraw from temporary protection, but many of them are hesitant to do so for fear that they may have to flee again,” said European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson. – “We have seen rockets falling again in Kiev since this morning. So we notify such Ukrainians: you do not need to get off the register, just notify us that you are leaving the EU and coming back home. It is important to notify us, but you can keep your registration card”.

At the same time, a new online platform has been launched to help refugees find jobs. Its name, the EU Talent Pool, implies that businesses that employ Ukrainians can benefit from their talents. Anyone with temporary protection can register, upload their CV, as well as data about their education and professional qualifications, and in return they can find out how it fits with the vacancies and the requirements of employers. According to Eurostat, 250 thousand Ukrainians are officially registered as job-seekers in 18 EU countries at the moment. Among those who have so far failed to do so is 23-year-old Karina Khokhlova. She was forced to leave her native Mariupol, arrived in Belgium in April with a degree in computer science and has sent hundreds of CVs and job applications:

“Project management positions require more than just fluent English. You need to speak French or Dutch, or both at the same time. I don’t have much work experience, just one year, and some positions require at least five years of experience in the position of deputy project manager. Five years’ experience is impossible if you are only 22”.

Participation in the European talent pool project is voluntary for member states. But Brussels sees it as another show of hospitality to those fleeing war and wanting to pursue careers in a foreign land.