European countries, which have opened their doors to civilians fleeing Ukraine due to the Russian invasion, are more dynamic in providing economic and social assistance to Ukrainians than to refugees from other countries.
Ukraine’s neighboring European countries treat refugees with hospitality that has never been seen before, while other continental countries have special legal arrangements to allow Ukrainians to enter easily from their own borders.
In some European countries, in addition to the state, people volunteer to find shelter for refugees from Ukraine, and in some countries try to ensure the social and economic welfare of refugees in addition to asylum.
According to the United Nations, about 3.8 million civilians have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war on February 24.
The people and the state have joined hands for the refugees in Poland
In Poland, where an estimated 2.2 million Ukrainians have taken refuge since the beginning of the war, refugees can apply to the local administration of the cities in which they reside and stay at the state allocation center or at home. Poles, which open their doors to refugees, if they do not find a place to stay after their registration at the border.
Ukrainian refugees can obtain a direct residence permit and work in Poland for up to 18 months.
In addition, each Polish refugee receives a one-time cash assistance of 300 Polish zlotys (1044 TL).
State assistance for the recruitment of Ukrainian refugees in Hungary
In another neighboring country, Romania, home to about 586,000 Ukrainian refugees, the government has announced that Ukrainian citizens who wish to work here will be able to work for nine months without a permit once they arrive in the country.
The government also said that Ukrainians working in Romania could apply for asylum.
In addition, Romanian citizens have opened their homes to Ukrainian refugees. Some Romanian citizens rallied for Ukrainian refugees and for rented houses.
In Hungary, where the door has so far been opened for about 350,000 Ukrainians, the government decided on March 14 to provide cash assistance to employers providing employment opportunities for Ukrainian refugees.
Accordingly, employers will receive a monthly allowance of 60,000 Hungarian forints (2,623 TL) for each Ukrainian refugee they recruit.
Residence permit and health care benefits in Germany
In addition to neighboring countries, other European countries also grant Ukrainian refugees many economic and social rights.
In Germany, where more than 259,000 refugees have taken refuge from Ukraine since the start of the war, Ukrainians have the right to use free trains and public transportation in many cities.
Ukrainians who can stay in Germany for up to 90 days with their passport can easily obtain a residence permit without having to go through the same process as other refugees to stay in the country for a longer period.
Those who need a place to stay should first register at the reception center and find food at these centers.
In addition to the government, many Germans or Ukrainians living in the country, fleeing the war, open their doors to Assad and host him in their homes.
Refugees in Ukraine benefit from health services when they register, and those who do not register receive free hospital treatment in an emergency.
The telecom company will provide free SIM cards and unlimited internet services to Ukrainian refugees until the end of June.
Cash assistance from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
In the Netherlands, where more than 12,000 Ukrainians have been displaced since the start of the war, refugees were immediately included in the social security system rather than “work permits” and were granted the necessary accommodation and temporary work permits.
Announcing that every Ukrainian refugee, including a child, will receive an allowance of 60 euros (about 980 TL) per week, the government has set the amount at 75 euros for Ukrainians hosted by a Dutch family.
Although many transport companies, especially the Dutch Railways NS, provide free travel to Ukrainian refugees, the government has allocated a budget of 1 million euros to provide financial assistance to Ukrainian refugees who will begin their education in the country’s higher education institutions.
The UK, where 12,400 asylum seekers were accepted from Ukraine, announced on 13 March that it would pay 350 British pounds (about 6,850 TL) per month to those who open their homes to Ukrainian refugees under the visa program. Ukrainians come to the country.
It has also been announced that Ukrainians living in England will be able to take their war victims with them to their relatives. Thus, it was said that the UK could accept more than 200,000 people.
On the other hand, it is being evaluated whether the property of Russian oligarchs approved in England can be used to shelter Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war and taking refuge in the country.
The right to social security for refugees in Spain
In Spain, where about 25,000 refugees have arrived, the central government and local administration have announced that Ukrainians will be given a work and residence card as soon as possible and that necessary arrangements will be made for the immediate admission of Ukrainian children to school.
In addition, Ukrainians who immigrated to Spain long before the war and were found illegally were immediately included in the social security system and granted the necessary accommodation and work permits.
In the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante, the government has allocated accommodation centers for Ukrainian refugees, while setting up a special phone line for Spanish families who want to entertain Ukrainian families for 6 months to 1 year.
In some big cities taxi drivers, especially Madrid, travel thousands of kilometers along the Polish border with their commercial vehicles and take refugees in Spain in groups of 50-100 people.
On the other hand, the foundation of La Caixa Bank has announced that it will donate 2.5 million euros and the Red Cross will donate 1.5 million euros.
In Croatia, where there are about 8,300 Ukrainian refugees, it has been announced that rent assistance will be provided to those who will assist the refugees.
It is said that the assistance provided by the government can reach up to 475 euros per month and will last from 6 months to 1 year.
Visa waiver up to 90 days in Italy
In Italy, where 71,940 Ukrainians have taken refuge since the Russia-Ukraine war, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said that fleeing Ukrainians will be provided with the necessary facilities, especially accommodation, when they arrive in Italy.
In this context, Ukrainians can stay in Italy for up to 90 days with a visa-exempt passport. Ukrainian refugees who have spent 90 days will be able to regularize their sessions by applying to the immigration office in their city.
Ukrainians who have no relatives in Italy and need a place to stay are allocated guesthouses arranged by the regional and city administrations.
With the decision taken on 18 March, the cabinet allocated 30 million euros to support the reception of Ukrainians, the decision also mentioned a different amount of assistance for families who will host Ukrainians.
Special status for Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland
In Switzerland, the Cabinet approved the decision to grant 1-year special status to Ukrainian citizens and foreign nationals who have taken refuge in the country from Ukraine, and to provide housing, finance, health and education assistance.
Accordingly, 1500 Swiss francs (approximately 24 thousand TL) monthly cash assistance will be given to Ukrainians with status.
In Greece, where more than 25,000 people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine have taken refuge, the government has announced that Ukrainian refugees will be allowed one year of temporary residence within the first 90 days of entering the country.
It was mentioned that with a temporary residence permit, Ukrainians will have the opportunity to work in the country and benefit from health services.
Special visa application for Ukrainians in Czechia
In the Czech Republic, where more than 300,000 Ukrainians have sought refuge since the start of the war, the “special visa” application, which includes many rights, such as work, education and healthcare, has been implemented in the first place.
Subsequently, visa regulations came into force, allowing Ukrainians to travel more comfortably within the borders of the European Union.
According to the latest data shared by the Czech Interior Ministry, about 250,000 people in the country have benefited from the aforementioned visas.
Of the 115,000 Ukrainians who have taken refuge in Bulgaria since the beginning of the war, 52,000 remain in the country, but most Ukrainians who came to the country because of the difficult living conditions have settled in other countries.
The Bulgarian government grants temporary asylum to Ukrainians with passports and is currently allowed to work in the country for up to 3 months.
France has allocated 400 million euros for refugees
In France, the government has allocated a budget of 400 million euros to host Ukrainians in the country, while the country is preparing to accept at least 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
More than 26,000 Ukrainian refugees in France can work, get residence permits and benefit from many government aids in granting temporary protection status.
Ukrainians with temporary protection status have the right to go to school and receive education for children between the ages of 3 and 16.
Solidarity for Ukrainian refugees raises controversy
The mobilization of Ukrainian refugees by many European countries, who have taken various measures to prevent refugees from different parts of the world, especially the Middle East, has led to discriminatory debates.
The governments of Hungary, where walls were erected to prevent the movement of refugees from Poland and the Middle East, where many migrants were not admitted to the border areas, have been accused of discriminating positively against Ukrainian refugees following the latest developments.
In some German press reports, it was remarked that the government does not treat all those fleeing the war equally, and reminded that Germany did not provide assistance in 2015 to Ukrainian refugees trying to enter the country from Syria.
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