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Europe on a local level : exploring motives behind EU-funded projects, through path dependency and Europeanisation


  • Josefin Wendel

Summary, in English

Focusing on what motivates local authorities to apply for project funding from the European Union (EU) through its funds and funding programmes, this research paper explores the motivation with the framework of path dependency and the context of Europeanisation. Using a sample of Swedish local authorities, interviews with municipal staff members were carried out. By analysing the rhetoric and argumentation used by civil servants, who are close to the institutional logic, motives and reasonings were unveiled.

This paper argues that local authorities are not only motivated by money or project-specific objectives, but by considerably deeper and more institutionally engrained principles and developments. The findings show that EU project funding applications of the sampled local authorities are path dependent, though also influenced by Europeanisation and larger developments such as projectification of public authorities.

Understanding what motivates local authorities, which play a central role in delivering services to EU residents in their everyday lives, to apply for EU project funding is important also in understanding what discourages local authorities from doing so. The path dependence in this area has serious implications for local authorities as well as for the EU, particularly as project funding is a vital tool kit for the EU in realising policy and/or tackling problems.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Social Sciences


  • Path Dependency
  • Europeanisation
  • Europeanization
  • European Union
  • EU
  • Projectification
  • Local Authorities
  • Kommun
  • Sweden
  • Skåne
  • Structural Funds
  • EU Project
  • EU Funding Programmes
  • Rhetorical Analysis


  • Eleonora Narvselius