Chapter 1 introduces the reader to the overall research interest of the book: the role EU funding plays in local social and employment policies. Departing from a European perspective and taking the ESF (– which has turned from a relatively small and unconditional financing tool into a powerful and complex governance instrument; meant to back up EU social and employment policy – as a crucial case for financial incentives in multilevel setups, the study asks how local entities in different European countries react to the European money and how they are shaped by it. The introduction outlines in which way this question is addressed in the course of the study and how the book is structured.
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