The European Union is pushing to get Ukrainian refugees to leave Poland and go to other member states. The need rose as around 3.8 million refugees have fled Ukraine, with Poland currently hosting more than any EU state.
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says Poland has taken in over 2 million refugees. Of those, over 1.5 million remained in Poland, said EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johnasson.
“It is significant to incentivize Ukrainians to leave Poland to go to other members,” she said on Monday, March 28, ahead of a interior ministers meeting, noting that some 1 million have fanned out to other EU states.
Meanwhile, it is not yet clear how the EU plans on getting them to leave Poland. But a proposal by Germany and Poland seeks to give each Ukrainian refugee a flat fee of €1,000 for the first six months.
Johansson remained vague on whether the commission would support such an idea, noting instead that they are looking at how to inform those in Poland that they will receive similar rights elsewhere.
She also added that the commission is looking at making European Union funds immediately available to member states bordering Ukraine, plus possibly additional funds later on.
Out of the 3.8 million refugees from Ukraine that have fled, only around 800,000 have so far applied for temporary protection in the EU, she added.
The protection is a European Union scheme that gives Ukrainian refugees residency and working rights up until next March.
France and Greece have each recorded 15,000, said their interior ministers on Monday. That is more than double those registered in Hungary.
As per UNHCR, some 350,000 Ukrainians went to Hungary. But of those, just under 6,000 were registered in Hungary as of March 23.
In comparison, Austria has recorded some 35,000 and Ireland around 13,500.