Main Debates

  • Why has the EU Temporary Protection Directive never been applied? Can circumstances ever be envisaged where it might?
  • Could it improve burden-sharing in the EU in a mass influx situation?
  • Does the possibility of temporary protection at EU level threaten the 1951 Geneva Convention?

Main Points

  • Lesser rights under the EU temporary protection regime compared with 1951 Geneva Convention rights
  • Concern by Member States that temporary protection would consistute a ’pull factor’ 

EU Documents

  1. Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection, OJ L212/12, 7 August 2001.



  1. N. Arenas, ‘The Concept of ‘Mass Influx of Displaced Persons’ in the European Directive Establishing the Temporary Protection System’, European Journal of Migration and Law, vol. 7 (2005), pp. 435–450.
  2. K. Kerber, ‘The Temporary Protection Directive’, European Journal of Migration and Law, vol. 4 (2002), pp. 193–214.
  3. G. Tessenyi, ‘Massive Refugee Flows and Europe’s Temporary Protection’, in S. Peers and N. Rogers (eds), EU Immigration and Asylum law: text and commentary (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2006), pp. 487–504.


  1. S. Boutruche, La protection temporaire des personnes déplacées en droit de l'UE: Un nouveau modéle en cas d'afflux massifs? (Etudes ŰUniversitaires Européennes, 2011).
  2. D. Joly, 'Temporary Protection and the Bosnian Crises: a Cornerstone of the New European Regime', in D. Joly (ed.), Global Changes in Asylum Regimes (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2002), pp. 49-78.

Editor’s Note

Temporary protection is not in itself a status. Rather it is an administrative measure to deal with mass influx situations for a limited period of time. It can be combined with a suspension of the examination of individual claims. Temporary Protection can only apply on a group basis following a political decision by the Council.

Compare the substantive rights for a person in an EC Temporary Protection regime with those for asylum seekers provided for in the Directive on Reception Conditions, on the one hand, and those for refugees provided for in the Geneva Convention and the Qualification Directive on the other.

 VI.2.2.3 Temporary ProtectionVI.2.2.3 Temporary Protection

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