"Seeking Refuge, Finding Solidarity? Challenges and Chances for Ukrainian Protection-Seekers in Europe"

In three months since escalation of conflict in Ukraine, over six million Ukrainians have sought protection in neighbouring countries, but many more have been forced from their homes displaced within their own country. 

At the EU level, the Council of the EU invoked the Temporary Protection Directive which grants Ukrainians the right to stay, work, and study in any EU member state for an initial period of one year. However, as in the application of every other EU directive, EU member states have national laws and regulations that envisage the application of the temporary protection regime within their home countries. Turkey -whilst not being an EU member state- has their own national rules and regulations on temporary protection as well which is parallels the obligations envisaged under the EU Directive. While the national responses and established legal systems of protection may vary, they have shown that there is a favourable attitude towards Ukrainian refugees. This is especially visible when compared with the policies, border treatment, and media images of other refugee groups. There is a clearly demonstrated difference in the willingness of many States to admit Ukrainian refugees on the one hand and other refugees on the other. 

European higher education and research community has expressed its undivided support to Ukrainian universities, students and staff. We, as members of the UNIC Alliance of Universities stand in solidarity with those who have to flee from Ukraine for their safety, with those who are in Ukraine and find themselves unable to continue living their lives, and with those who for other reasons are at risk due to the invasion, including Russian students and scholars at risk due to speaking out against the invasion. 

Taking into account the legal aspects of protection of Ukrainian refugees in Europe, the Law Faculties from University of Zagreb (Croatia), Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), University of Lodz (Poland), University of Deusto, Bilbao (Spain) and Koç University, Istanbul (Turkey) as members of UNIC alliance, are organising the Symposium “Seeking Refuge, Finding Solidarity? Challenges and Chances for Ukrainian Protection-Seekers in Europe”. 

The symposium will focus on three topics:

- National Regimes for Ukrainian protection-seekers in Europe; 
- The Role of Law Faculties and Universities in providing support to Ukrainian students and scholars; 
- The Right to Leave and Discriminatory Admissions of Protection-Seekers

Keynote address: 

Cathryn Costello (Hertie School and the Centre for Fundamental Rights, Berlin, Germany) and
Itamar Mann (Faculty of Law, University of Haifa, Israel).

The event will take place online, on June 1 st , 2022 from 10 AM to 3 PM (CET).
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

Please register by May 31st at:

Programme and Keynote Speakers