• Julia Jungmann
4. semester, Europæiske Studier, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This master thesis is concerned with the European Union’s relationship with Ukraine by analysing the Union’s foreign policy towards the former Soviet state and the ongoing crisis on its territory. According to the United Nations (2016), in May 2016, more than 9,300 people have been killed in the Ukraine conflict. This makes it one of the bloodiest current conflicts that are taking place at the EU’s doorstep.
The crisis was triggered by the ‘Euromaidan’ movement, which started in Kiev in late 2013 as a response from the Ukrainian civil society to the cancellation of negotiation talks by the former Ukrainian President Yanukovych with the EU about an Association Agreement. This Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine is of great significance as it provides an opportunity for the former Soviet state to move closer to the EU and thereby to the West. Since the agreement was broadly supported among Ukrainians, the suspension of the negotiation talks came as a surprise to the civil society and the public outcry was immense.
Consequently, it can be argued that the agreement and the EU itself represent important factors in the Ukraine conflict. In order to shed light on the EU’s role in the crisis, the Union’s foreign policy towards Ukraine and especially towards the ongoing conflict is investigated in this thesis. It is analysed what the foreign policy of the EU in particular consists of and why the Union conducts exactly this policy and no other.
For the purpose of addressing this issue adequately, the international relations theories of realism and liberalism constitute the theoretical framework. Due to the theories’ contrasting claims and assumptions, it is highly interesting to see which theory accounts better for the EU’s foreign policy in this specific case, or whether both of them possess a certain amount of explanatory power. Two hypotheses, which reflect the realist and liberal propositions respectively, are developed in this thesis and are used to carry out the analysis. In this way, a maintainable answer of the research question is given.
The conflict in Ukraine is as current as it is complex due to the historical, cultural, political, and social aspects of it. Moreover, a variety of actors is involved in it or became involved in the course of the crisis. This thesis focuses on the EU’s role in the conflict, yet also makes the positions of Ukraine, Russia, and NATO and their different relationships to one another a subject of discussion. Thereby, the findings of this work contribute to the broad academic research already existing about the topic.
Udgivelsesdatojul. 2016
Antal sider81
ID: 237701042