Integrating Social and Employment Policies in Europe

Integrating Social and Employment Policies in Europe

Active Inclusion and Challenges for Local Welfare Governance

Edited by Martin Heidenreich and Deborah Rice

A central goal of European activation policies is to integrate social and employment policies into a coherent active inclusion approach that fosters social cohesion and enhances the employment chances of vulnerable groups. This requires a reorganisation of social and employment services especially at the local level. On the basis of empirical studies of six European welfare states, this book explores how different institutional contexts influence localised service delivery and how local actors deal with the associated coordination challenges.

Chapter 9: The local usages of Europe in social cohesion policies: a comparative analysis

Serida L. Catalano and Paolo R. Graziano

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, labour policy, welfare states


In Chapter 9 on the local usages of European resources, Serida L. Catalano and Paolo R. Graziano analyse whether and to what extent the EU affects the delivery of activation policies at the local level. Focusing on cognitive, strategic and legitimating usages of legal, financial, cognitive/normative, political and institutional EU resources, the authors find that strategic usages and direct/indirect financial resources (such as money from the European Social Fund or financial constraints) are by far the most crucial EU resources at the European local level. However, there also seems to be some variation between countries: while economically healthy regions make less use of EU funds in Sweden, Germany and Italy, less country-internal differentiation is observed in the UK, France and Poland. Another core finding of Catalano and Graziano’s chapter is that not only national settings, but also local political-administrative features (such as leadership and know-how) play an important role in explaining local actors’ willingness to use EU resources.

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