The imminence of a Russian invasion of Ukraine worries and worries the whole of Europe. Romania, as a neighboring state, fears for Ukraine’s sovereignty and is alarmed by the geopolitical games in the region that involve it without a doubt. Beyond that, however, in such situations people are the ones who suffer the most and for them there should be help and support in the first place.
In this context, the Romanian MEP Vlad Gheorghe, supported by several EP colleagues, initiated and forwarded to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, on 14 February a letter requesting action, measures and funds for humanitarian aid needed for refugees coming from Ukraine.
“Please take all possible measures, in cooperation with the authorities of the Republic of Moldova and the EU countries bordering Ukraine, in order to urgently prepare humanitarian aid facilities for refugees to come from Ukraine in the coming days.”
Direct military action by Russia is likely to lead to millions of displaced people seeking international security and protection in neighboring countries – Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and the Republic of Moldova. Romania and Moldova in particular are likely to receive hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s war. In this context, Moldova is likely to face a major challenge in managing the flow of refugees.
“They will need medical help, shelter and basic goods, because, as we know, in such a rapid situation, they did not have time to prepare for their early departure.” , argues MEP Renew Vlad Gheorghe the need for immediate action by the EU to protect the lives of Ukrainian citizens who will have to flee to save their lives.
The letter from the Romanian MEP received a positive and unexpectedly quick response from Ursula von der Leyen, a sign that the European Union has already taken steps to deal with a wave of refugees and an armed conflict in Ukraine.
“Ukraine is a key priority for the European Commission. We are following the situation very closely. We are very concerned about developments and share your assessment of the possible implications, including the escalation of population movements.”
The reply states that it is in constant contact with the Government of Ukraine and that a European Commission proposal for a € 1.2 billion emergency macro-financial assistance package for Ukraine has been in place since early February.
In terms of humanitarian aid, it has been consistently provided since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
“To date, the European Commission has mobilized almost € 194 million in humanitarian funds to help those affected by the conflict.” presides over the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
With regard to the sudden influx of refugees into Member States bordering Ukraine, the European Commission has extended its general emergency planning in recent weeks. All the tools in the migration management toolkit will be made available to the affected Member States.
The Commission is also ready to support countries, including EU Member States and Moldova, on the border with Ukraine through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM). As soon as necessary, the EU can help mobilize Member States to provide calls for assistance with shelter capacity, emergency medical teams, medicines and medical equipment, COVID-19 testing capacity and other measures. “
The letter ends with Ursula von der Leyen’s hope that the situation can be resolved diplomatically, but also with assurances that
“… we are ready to support our Member States as well as our international partners in a robust way. As a budgetary authority, I also count on the full support of the European Parliament to provide additional funding if needed.”