Webinar on Local political leadership and administrative capacity for EU Structural Funds

The forth webinar of the 2024 Winter-Spring semester took place on 08 May (11:00 – 12:00 UK) over Zoom with Dr Alina Dragos (University of Strathclyde) who presented her PhD research “Local political leadership and administrative capacity for EU Structural Funds: The case of Cohesion Policy in urban Romania”.


The thesis identified different implementation patterns of EU’s cohesion policy in cities and examined how local political leaders and administrative capacity of local governments shape the local implementation of EU’s cohesion policy. Through an empirical analysis of thirteen municipalities engaged in implementation, the qualitative study assessed the ability of local elected leaders to leverage EU funds to address local needs and evaluated the administrative capacity in each case, drawing on a conceptual framework of local political leadership and administrative capacity. It finds that political leaders affect implementation through the strategic decisions and actions they take in the early stages of the process (formulation), through the measures they undertake to mobilize resources and enable the public administrations to attract funds (mobilization) and the assistance offered during implementation. While administrative capacity is an essential and necessary condition for attracting resources, it remains insufficient without political drive. The findings confirm the intertwined nature of politics and administration in the implementation of EU Structural Funds, highlighting the significant role political leaders play alongside administrative capacity.


Dr Alina Dragos is a European public policies researcher interested in the interaction of politics and administration in policy design and implementation. In 2023, Alina obtained her PhD at Strathclyde University, where her thesis examined local political leadership and administrative capacity in several cities in Romania in the context of implementing the EU’s cohesion policy. She currently works for the Managing Authority of the Regional Programme ERDF/ ESF+ 2021-2027 of the Region Ile-de-France. Her research interests include government capacity and capacity building; political leadership; civic engagement; multi-level governance; the design, and implementation of public policy; EU Cohesion Policy; urban and regional development; post-socialist city.

Dragos presentation can be accessed here, the recording of the webinar can be watched below or on our YouTube channel.


Watch out for updates for future events by following @eprc_eu on Twitter, European Policies Research Centre on LinkedIn, or register for our webinar mailing list via marina.murray@strath.ac.uk.

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