temporary protection, war refugees, former Yugoslavia, Ukraine


About 5 million Ukrainians, forced to flee from the aggression of the Russian Federation, enjoy temporary protection in European countries. The legal basis for its provision is the Directive adopted by the EU in 2001 based on the experience gained as a result of the mass arrival of war refugees from the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Therefore, when studying the prospects of staying abroad and the return of forced migrants as an important component of the post-war recovery of Ukraine, despite the awareness of the vagueness of any historical analogies, it is useful to analyze what happened to war refugees from Yugoslavia after the end of active hostilities in the Balkans, which is the purpose of this article. To achieve it, historical and comparative methods are used, as well as other methods of scientific research. Despite the large volume of literature devoted to forced displacement in Yugoslavia, active analytical and research work on the study of the situation of Ukrainian displaced persons abroad, comparative approach to the analysis of these two phenomena was not applied, which determines the novelty of this work. As a result, it provides grounds for several important conclusions. Firstly, the protection enjoyed by Ukrainians in Europe is temporary and its cancellation or expiration can be sudden and unexpected for refugees. This can lead to an unprepared return or the risk of being abroad in an irregular legal situation. Secondly, after the termination of temporary protection, the situation of Ukrainians in different states may differ radically depending on whether the host country is interested in granting displaced persons the status of permanent residents or not. Thirdly, when deciding the future fate of war refugees, the host country will, of course, take into account humanitarian considerations, but most likely will use a pragmatic selective approach, i.e. will grant the status of permanent resident primarily to those refugees who have successfully integrated, are not a burden, but, on the contrary, an additional resource for the development. Thus, the policy of host countries, as well as the situation in Ukraine and the personal circumstances of particular individuals, will be an important factor in the post-war repatriation of forced migrants, its intensity and timing. In this regard, the foreign policy component of the state’s migration policy, the discussion and joint development with foreign states of measures to promote the return and reintegration of displaced persons, should be significantly intensified.


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Author Biography

Olena Malynovska, National Institute for Strategic Studies

Dr. Sс. (Public Administration), Chief Researcher



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