What is the Temporary Protection Directive of 2001?

GS Paper 2: Effects of policies of developed nations.


  • In the first 10 days of combat, almost 1.5 million people fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has described the exodus as “the fastest expanding refugee crisis since the Second World War.”
  • In response to the crisis, EU Member States took the extraordinary step on March 3 of implementing Council Directive 2001/55/EC of the European Union, often known as the Temporary Protection Directive, which came into effect on July 20, 2001. (TPD).
  • The EU has used the TPD for the first time in connection with the conflict in Ukraine. It is being hailed as another another demonstration of European solidarity in the face of Russian aggression.

What exactly is TPD?

  • In accordance with the TPD, “temporary protection” is defined as a “extraordinary measure” that “provides urgent and temporary protection to displaced individuals from non-EU countries and those who are unable to return to their country of origin.”
  • It applies where there is a “risk that the ordinary asylum system would be unable to deal with demand resulting from a large inflow of asylum seekers, with a consequent detrimental impact on the processing of claims.”

The importance of creating standards is as follows:

  • When suitable standards are in place, discrepancies in the policy of European Union (EU) nations on the treatment of prospective refugees during a major influx of people will be less noticeable.
  • The criteria also encourage burden-sharing among EU nations in the event of a high number of displaced persons arriving in a short period of time, as well as in the event of having to deal with the repercussions of accepting such people.

TPD’s genesis may be traced back to the 18th century:

  • Following the conclusion of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, Europe was engulfed in a series of military wars. Many individuals were displaced as a result of these hostilities, and many sought asylum in neighbouring nations. Consequently, the European Union (EU) introduced the Temporary Protection Directive in 2001 to deal with the problem of a large influx of displaced people.

Obligations imposed on member states of the EU

In accordance with the directive, those who are granted temporary protection have certain rights. They are as follows:

  • A permit to remain in the country for the period of the protection (1-3 years).
  • Minors have access to jobs, housing, social services, medical care, and educational opportunities.
  • In certain cases, there may be opportunities for families to rejoin again.
  • Access to the standard asylum procedure is ensured by this provision.


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