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How EU countries can support digital connectivity for refugees from Ukraine

This brochure provides managing authorities and other government agencies in EU Member States with guidance on ways to support refugees from Ukraine in accessing digital connectivity and related services.

Photographer: Bartosz Siedlik Copyright European Union, 2022

Access to digital connectivity and digital services remains an essential need for refugees fleeing Ukraine, ensuring they can remain in touch with family and friends, as well as have access to information and services.

The European Commission, in coordination with telecommunication operators, has taken several steps to facilitate access to connectivity, including by ensuring affordable or free roaming for those fleeing the war. More information on these efforts can be found on the dedicated webpage: Supporting Ukraine through digital

As the war continues and the number of refugees in the Member States remains high, further efforts are needed to support the urgent needs of refugees and their integration within the EU Member States hosting them.

Managing authorities and other government agencies in EU Member States may support refugees’ access to digital connectivity and services through, for example, SIM cards, subscription fees, tablets, and more. Moreover, Member States could consider setting up social voucher schemes to cover, either fully or in part, the costs of connectivity, auxiliary services and equipment.

As State support needs to comply with certain rules, notably around State aid, the European Commission has prepared a dedicated brochure of guidance and advice, with examples of support schemes that have successfully been implemented, as well as links to other initiatives which might be helpful when planning assistance to refugees from Ukraine in the EU.

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This brochure was created as part of the European Broadband Competence Offices (BCO) Network’s work to raise awareness of EU support for high-speed broadband deployment and share good practices in broadband projects. Discover more interviews in the BCO Network YouTube playlist and more broadband good practices, news and resources in the BCO Network Library.

Reviewed and approved by Lavinia Bianchi.