The PES 2020 Vision (HoPES, 2012) formulated by the Heads of Public Employment Services and supported by the Commission, has opened up new dynamics of role definition in various EU member states. Following the Vision, the PES will need to adopt a broader set of functions in the context of the different transitions over the life-course and for new ‘customers’ (workers, employers, inactive groups) with no traditional links to the PES. Therefore, the PES needs to act both as an enabler and a coach, but also as a ‘conductor’ and facilitator within the labour market by building partnerships with other labour market actors. The Vision also describes some of the operational and management consequences of the new role to be taken up. The article argues that the new paradigm underlying the PES 2020 Vision has not been automatically downloaded by the PES in question, but is subject to a cherry-picking approach in which the Vision itself is not necessarily considered to have been decisive. Despite various puzzling-based mechanisms, we conclude that the selectivity with which countries adopt the vision is contingent upon the national configuration of the PES and agendas. This conclusion is based on a qualitative analysis mainly through documents and interviews with elite-actors in the following five countries: Belgium (Flanders), Germany, Hungary, Sweden and UK.