Starting from the theoretical-political paradigm of activation, the chapter analyses welfare reforms (focusing on pension and labour policies) in two European countries: France and Italy. Special attention is given to the intergenerational approach implemented in recent years, following international agencies’ recommendations. First evaluations of the devices put in practice to face employment problems affecting young and mature workers allow to develop some considerations on the ambiguity that characterize activation paradigm in the context of the global crisis, having produced a severe employment reduction and putting into question the validity of this widespread paradigm. In this context, the implementation of intergenerational measures seems to reveal little effects on unemployment rates for both young and older workers and on the availability of new jobs into the labour market. Nevertheless, they tend to improve the quality of work, reducing fixed-term contracts and allowing public finance savings. A cultural implication is also cited, referring to the change of perspective these measures may foster to overlap age discriminations in workplaces, as in public debate.
Part of the book: Unemployment