The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused a massive, unprecedented refugee flow to Europe. As of today, 6,642,659 Ukrainian have fled the country while 8 million are displaced within Ukraine. One of the ways Europe shows solidarity with Ukraine is by housing and aiding the refugees fleeing the conflict. Cities play a crucial role in this regard. Due to their social infrastructure and strong economies, they can provide not just shelter, but also social and economic opportunities. Yet, cities are also pressured and face various challenges, especially in the effort to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy and social life.
This briefing summarizes the implications of the influx of refugees from Ukraine for European cities, and how cities can navigate challenges to continue being a positive factor in the support of Ukraine. The briefing is based on available official sources and expert commentaries and written in the context of the study ‘Social challenges in cities’ contracted by the European Parliament. The PPMI research team conducted desk research in English, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Romanian and Polish languages. National experts supported the search for information on the situation in Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Slovakia, Spain, and Malta.