When Soft Law Overshadows other European Resources: Portuguese Reconciliation Policies and Usages of Europe

Sotirios Zartaloudis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In the analysis of the usages of Europe in Portuguese reconciliation policies presented in this article, we found a general concordance/temporal sequence between EU and national level developments. In an overall context of limited policy change induced by the EU, the main actors using EU resources were political entrepreneurs: firstly, ministerial elites, and secondly, high-level officials either in government or in the independent bodies for gender equality. These actors used primarily cognitive and financial resources: the European Employment Strategy (cognitive usage), and EU funds (strategic usage), whereas legal resources were not used. Finally, cognitive usage occurred in the beginning of the reform process (the EU was reform initiator) whereas strategic usage took place to support existing goals during the reform process (the EU was reform supporter).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-124
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Security
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, London, UK; e-mail: s.zartaloudis@lse.ac.uk. The author is grateful to the task coordinators and members, two anonymous reviewers, and to Kevin Featherstone, Waltraud Schelkle, Christa Van Wijnebergen and Kyriakos Moumoutzis for their constructive comments, which improved this paper. Special thanks go to all Portuguese interviewees for providing their time and help, and the empirical evidence necessary for the completion of this research. All interviewees gave their permission for their views to be used in any academic outputs arising from the research. Funding from the Propontis Foundation, Bodossaki Foundation, LSE and RECWOWE is gratefully acknowledged. Any errors are the author’s responsibility.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 SAGE Publications.


  • European Union
  • Portugal
  • reconciliation
  • usages of Europe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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