The paper deals with the impact of European policy-making on sub-national levels of government. Specifically, it analyses the changes that have occurred in the administrative system and in the managerial work of an Italian region - namely Campania - following the introduction of cohesion policy. The objective was to understand whether and how the introduction of organizational innovations related to the implementation of structural funds has produced a sort of 'tension' between the two logics of actions - managerial and bureaucratic - in the previous bureaucratic structure. The paper investigates the factors of resistance and change paying particular attention to: 1) the processes of reorganization and modernization of the ordinary regional apparatus, makes; 2) the role of the management responsible for the programming of structural funds. The arguments of the paper contribute to the explanation of the gap between planning and implementation and to the problematization of the low efficiency and effectiveness that continues to characterize the outcomes of the EU cohesion policy in a Region of Southern Italy.