From ‘talking the talk’ to ‘walking the walk’: Implementing the EU guidelines on employment through the European Social Fund

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Series Details Number Vol. 17, Article 2, Pages 1-26
Publication Date 2013
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This article investigates how the European Social Fund (ESF) is being employed to translate Lisbon/Europe 2020 goals on employment into domestic agendas. The emphasis is not only on how European priorities are taken into account by ESF national programming documents (talking the EU talk), but also on how these priorities are translated into concrete actions at the local level (walking the walk). This article pursues this emphasis by combining mainstream studies on the impact of Europe (top-down Europeanisation) with studies on political usages (usages of Europe). This combination reveals new dynamics at work, such as the usages by Europe, and gives a more complete picture of the implementation process. Empirical evidence is drawn from documentary and database analysis and from interviews carried out at the European level and in two member states (France and Spain).

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