Multiple crises in the EU are assumed to impact EU external images in general, and in Ukraine specifically. Our article asks if these crises are only short time-span variations with limited implications for longer term EU perceptions in Ukraine. To answer this question, our article turns to the concepts of spatial and historical distances (Braudel 1982, Didelon-Loiseau and Grasland 2014) and argues two interacting sets of factors behind EU images in Ukraine – spatial (location-, region-, EU-specific and global) and temporal (short-, mediumand long-term). Hypothesizing evolutions of EU images in post-Maidan Ukraine in terms of the EU’s perceived power, opportunities and normative profile, our analysis tests its hypotheses by examining Ukrainian public opinion pre- and post-Maidan and tracing EU framing in influential press across the political continuum. Our results demonstrate the relational nature of EU external images and suggest avenues to fine-tune the EU’s operational and programming level tools in its dialogue with Ukraine.
European Foreign Affairs Review