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7 Eur. J. Migration & L. 435 (2005)
The Concept of Mass Influx of Displaced Persons in the European Directive Establishing the Temporary

handle is hein.journals/ejml7 and id is 443 raw text is: European Journal of Migration and Law 7: 435-450, 2005.
© 2005 Koninklike Brill NV. Printed in the Netherlands.                            435
The Concept of 'Mass Influx of Displaced Persons' in the
European Directive Establishing the Temporary
Protection System
The practice of giving temporary protection to people at risk, in the event of the
principle of non-refoulement being applicable, has an important background,
although its conceptualisation is fairly recent. It begins after the adoption of the
1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and it acquires new per-
spectives in the nineties in the context of asylum due to humanitarian reasons.1 This
asylum model is regulated today in communitarian Europe (in accordance with
Article 63(2) of the EC Treaty) by Council Directive 2001/55/EC, dealing with the
minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of mass influx of
displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member
States to receive such persons and bearing the consequences thereof.2
The regulation of a European model of temporary asylum for mass influx of per-
sons was described as the key point of the works of the Commission,3 when after
years of negotiations, a consensus began to emerge on a subject that became an
issue at the start of the tragic decade of the nineties. In truth, the question how to
address the regulatory challenge posed by a mass exile, which arose as a conse-
quence of the exodus produced by the Yugoslavian conflict, had never before been
* PhD Researcher and Lecturer in International Law, University of Huelva (Spain).
The 1956 Hungarian displacements or the Czech displacements of 1968 were the first examples,
although it was the Southeast Asia exile that played the most important role in the development of the
norm of temporary refuge (see EXCOM 15, XXX, 1979). During the eighties, Professors Hartman and
Perluss upheld its customary law character: J.F. Hartman, D. Perluss, Temporary refuge: Emergence of
a customary norm, Vrginia Journal of International Law, vol. 26, 1986, pp. 551-553. See also: G.J.L.
Coles, Temporary Refuge and the Large Scale Influx of Refugees, American Yearbook of International
Law, vol. 8, 1983, pp. 189-212. After the Yugoslavian crisis of the nineties, models of temporary asy-
lum with different legal forms, benefits and conditions were adopted. See K. Kerber, Temporary
Protection: An Assessment of the Harmonisation Policies of European Member States, International
Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 9, n. 3, 1997, pp. 453-471 and J. van Selm, Refugee Protection in Europe.
Lessons of the Yugoslav Crisis (The Hague/Boston, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1998); and Kosovo's
Refugees in the European Union (London/New York, Pinter, 2000).
OJ L 212 of 07/08/2001, pp. 12-23.
3 S. Carrascosa Ferrandis, Flujo masivo de desplazados. Comentarios a la primera Directiva euro-
pea, in P.A. Femindez Sdnchez, ed., La Revitalizacirn de la Proteccidn de los Refugiados (Huelva,
Universidad de Huelva Publicaciones, 2002), p. 315. The author was counsellor of Justice and Home
Affairs in the Permanent Representation of Spain in the EU during the drafting of the Directive.

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