Same End, Different Means: The Evolution of Poland’s Support for Ukraine at the European Level
Poland is commonly regarded as the “diamond in the ring of friends” of Ukraine among EU Member States. This article examines the evolution of Poland’s sponsorship of Ukraine at the European level up until fall 2015, with some reflections on later developments. Drawing on a variety of primary and secondary sources, including semi- structured expert interviews, the article examines Poland’s policy along the lines of preferences and interests, institutions and procedures, and strategies and actions. The findings reveal persistent continuity despite considerable change in relevant context conditions. The end—Poland’s aim to support Ukraine’s European future—has remained intact over the decades, with only slight modification. Yet the understanding of the most efficient means—strategies and institutional structures—to achieve this end has altered, indicating a change in outlook. A number of nuances regarding the influence of Poland’s EU membership on Poland’s and EU’s Eastern neighborhood and specifically Ukraine policies, as well as the role of Ukraine-related developments, contribute to various strands in the literature on the relationship between EU policies towards the post-Soviet space and Central and Eastern European member states.