Perceptions of EU mediation and mediation effectiveness: Comparing perspectives from Ukraine and the EU, authors: Natalia Chaban, Ole Elgström and Michèle Knodt

A small but growing literature has started to analyse the European Union (EU) ‘as an effective peacemaker’. We make a contribution to this field by investigating EU mediation effectiveness in the Russia–Ukraine conflict. The focus is on perceptions of effectiveness. Based on information from semi-structured interviews, we compare EU self-images with Ukrainian evaluations of EU mediation efforts. How effective is the EU, including its Member States, deemed to be? What factors are believed to lie behind perceived (in)effectiveness? We concentrate on four such factors, derived from the mediator literature: perceived (im)partiality, coherence and credibility and, finally, evaluations of the EU’s mediation strategies. Both internal and external views singled out EU member states as the most effective actors in current mediation. The role of EU was seen in ambivalent terms by both sides. All the four determinants of mediation effectiveness are discussed in our material, but differ considerably in the degree of attention given to each of them. While (im)partiality is not a factor that is linked to effectiveness in any straightforward way, EU incoherence is associated with inconsistent and weak policies, notably in the Ukraine material.

Chaban, Natalia; Elgström, Ole, Knodt, Michèle (2020): Perceptions of EU mediation and mediation effectiveness: Comparing perspectives from Ukraine and the EU, in: Cooperation and Conflict, Vol. 54, https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0010836718823813