top of page

Activists across Europe call EU Commission and Council to apply humanity to refugees at all borders

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

[04.03.2022, 18:00 CET]

For Immediate Release

In light of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Europe Must Act and their members across Europe sent a letter to the EU Commissioner of Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and to Gérald Darmanin, French Minister of Interior chairing the French presidency of the Council. In this letter Europe Must Act welcomes the decision to activate the Temporary Protection Directive and the willingness of EU Member States to respond to this crisis “with solidarity, humanity and unanimity”.

Europe Must Act also urges the EU and member states to not forget the importance of guaranteeing the same protection to all those seeking sanctuary in Europe, whether fleeing Ukraine or other conflicts, ensuring that everyone is given a safe and fair way to do so.

Hannah Lettl , Coordinator for Europe Must Act in Poland says: “The Polish government has expressed its willingness to accept refugees from Ukraine but as the number of arrivals increases rapidly it’s the civil society who supports people arriving in our cities with basic needs. We ask the EU to massively support Ukraine’s neighbouring countries and NGOs working there and to start a coordinated relocation program from the borders to welcoming cities across Europe. As reports emerge that African and Asian refugees from Ukraine are suffering from discriminatory treatment on their journey, we call on member states to ensure the protection of everyone fleeing war in Ukraine and to act on its values of equality and human rights.”

Cecilia Sanfelici, Advocacy Coordinator for Europe Must Act says: “The tragic events we are experiencing are an opportunity to recall that a humane and supportive response from the European Union to welcome people fleeing war is possible. The same humanity, solidarity and open borders shown for Ukrianians today should be guaranteed to all those seeking sanctuary in the EU. This also should teach the EU and European States an important lesson: the need to build on safe routes, relocation and welcoming cities, and move away from camps and walls.”

Europe Must Act is committed to support the people fleeing Ukraine by using its network and expertise to ensure the EU respects its obligation to protect people and their human rights. We stand in solidarity with people in Ukraine and all those who left and will leave their homes because of this conflict. History and the present have given countless proofs that those most impacted by war are civilians, who die, are injured or forced to leave their countries.


Notes for Editors

Europe Must Act (EMA) is a growing grassroots movement, bringing together volunteers and NGOs to campaign for the humane, dignified and legal reception of refugees in Europe. EMA was established in March 2020 by a group of volunteers on the Greek Aegean islands of Chios and Samos in response to the ever-worsening situation of the hotspot camps. For more information about EMA, please visit

Further comments available.



Christian Schmidt, Press Coordinator, Europe Must Act |

Hannah Lettl, Coordinator for Europe Must Act in Poland, Europe Must Act |

Key Links

Letter to the EU: ensure protection for all people seeking sanctuary


Europe Must Act is a campaign group run by a coalition of NGOs working on the Aegean Islands. Find out more here.

Picture credits: Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash

bottom of page