Policy learning, aid conditionality or domestic politics? The Europeanization of Dutch and Spanish activation policies through the European Social Fund

Minna Marja-Leena van Gerven-Haanpää, Bart Vanhercke, Susanna Gürocak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article investigates variations in the domestic impact of the European Union's largest financial instrument, the European Social Fund (ESF), in The Netherlands and Spain. We find that, despite the large differences between the two countries examined in terms of ‘goodness of fit’, the ESF had significant effects on both The Netherlands and Spain. These effects, however, occurred through rather different dynamics: intermediate variables such as leverage, learning and aid conditionality determine how the ESF actually ‘hits home’, in addition to the degree of institutional, political and policy (mis)fit. At the same time, we qualify our analysis by exploring the role of countries' past experiences with the ESF, their problem load, the availability of (European Union and domestic) resources and member states' uploading capacities. The ‘goodness of fit’ literature has suggested that these factors may be important, but they have not yet been sufficiently explored for the ESF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-527
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of European public policy
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2014

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European Social Fund
learning aid
Europeanization
activation
politics
Netherlands
Spain
resources
learning
experience

Keywords

  • METIS-300993
  • IR-88679

Cite this

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Policy learning, aid conditionality or domestic politics? The Europeanization of Dutch and Spanish activation policies through the European Social Fund. / van Gerven-Haanpää, Minna Marja-Leena; Vanhercke, Bart; Gürocak, Susanna.

In: Journal of European public policy, Vol. 21, No. 4, 02.01.2014, p. 509-527.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - This article investigates variations in the domestic impact of the European Union's largest financial instrument, the European Social Fund (ESF), in The Netherlands and Spain. We find that, despite the large differences between the two countries examined in terms of ‘goodness of fit’, the ESF had significant effects on both The Netherlands and Spain. These effects, however, occurred through rather different dynamics: intermediate variables such as leverage, learning and aid conditionality determine how the ESF actually ‘hits home’, in addition to the degree of institutional, political and policy (mis)fit. At the same time, we qualify our analysis by exploring the role of countries' past experiences with the ESF, their problem load, the availability of (European Union and domestic) resources and member states' uploading capacities. The ‘goodness of fit’ literature has suggested that these factors may be important, but they have not yet been sufficiently explored for the ESF.

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