The European Union through the Eyes of Ukrainian Think Tankers: Studying EU Perceptions Post-Euromaidan

Vera Axyonova, Diana Zubko


The European Union (EU) engagement in its Eastern neighborhood, including Ukraine, has attracted considerable scholarly attention. Yet studies focusing on EU perceptions in neighboring countries have been rare, which is especially true for EU perceptions among non-governmental actors. This article examines perceptions (or images) of the EU and its initiatives, such as the Eastern Partnership and the Association Agreement, within a specific group of Ukrainian civil society organizations, namely think tanks (as elite opinion makers), following the Euromaidan Revolution. The study maps discursive frames used by leading think tank representatives working in the field of foreign and security policy analysis or performing the functions of watchdogs in sectors such as democratization, public administration reform, and economic liberalization. Methodologically, the study employs content analysis of policy related papers published by the organizations, as well as complementary expert interviews with representatives of the Ukrainian think tank community. The article thus contributes to understanding the civil society’s views on the EU in Ukraine in the post-Euromaidan period.


Ukraine; European Union; civil society; think tanks; perceptions

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