How long will our good will and patience last while millions of Ukrainian seek refuge in the EU?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

On Tuesday, 2.011 million refugees have fled Ukraine since February 24, according to the UNHCR. Some sources speculate that up to 4 million refugees may flee the war in Ukraine.

In light of Europe’s bleak history and the worst human rights abuses, atrocities, and wars in all of history, one wonders how long our goodwill lasts.

The goodwill of the EU has been shown by granting Ukrainians special protection status. Contrary to asylum seekers who came to Europe in 2015 and faced a long and grueling asylum process, Ukrainians receive automatic residence and work permits and access to social welfare.

Even if such a policy is a step in the right direction, we can ask for how long our goodwill towards Ukrainians fleeing war will last?

If we compare what happened to asylum seekers who came to Europe in 2015 from countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia, our goodwill ran out pretty fast.

Ahti Tolvanen, a historian and member of the Migrant Tales editorial board, tackled the question.

“It is high time that we reform the structural abuse in our labor market to make sue that these people [Ukrainians and others] aren’t exploited,” he said.

The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is already chipping away at our goodwill and patience towards Ukrainians.


The chairperson of the PS, Riikka Purra, is already attacking Ukrainian refugees by fear-mongering. She tweets: “NOW WE HAVE TO ACT. It would be easy for Russia engulf Finland with immigrants. The government must make sure that our border can keep [refugees] out.” Thank you @nopersu and @Reija_Harkonen for the heads-up.

The racist slogan by the PS is an example of how desperate the party is and that it has nothing to offer Finland except to polarize with injections of xenophobia.