Czechia hosts the most Ukrainian refugees with temporary protection status per population among European Union nations, Eurostat data shows.
By the end of last year, there were over 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees with temporary protection status on European Union territory. Among them, one-half stayed in Germany and Poland, roughly one quarter in each, followed by Czechia, which had an 11% share.
Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February last year, the EU decided to activate for the first time rules that enabled refugees to get temporary protection – a mechanism that gives access to public health insurance, education and the labour market.
EU countries even decided to prolong the temporary protection scheme until March 2024 due to continued fighting in Ukraine, despite it initially being set to end in March this year.
Germany and Poland granted temporary protection status to 968,000 and 961,000 Ukrainian refugees at the end of last year, while Czechia granted 432 000, Eurostat data shows.
According to the most recent data from the Interior Ministry, about 500,000 war refugees from Ukraine have secured temporary protection visas in Czechia.
The ministry also estimated at the end of 2022 that, about one-fifth of refugees had already returned home.
The temporary protection extension will help gain more precise data on how many refugees are really staying in Czechia.
As of 20 February, 230,000 Ukrainians requested extended protection, the ministry stated in a press release.
Most Czechs favour helping refugees and aligning with the West regarding the conflict, a recent poll by the STEM research institute shows.