In recent years policies against poverty in Italy has received a renovated attention, both in the public debate and in the institutional framework. The New Social Card - experimented in the 12 Municipalities with more than 250.000 inhabitants in 2014-15 - combines income support and active inclusion through social and employment oriented interventions. The article presents a comparative overview of the implementation process of the New Social Card, pointing out implications and emerging elements in the perspective of a national scheme that should become an essential level of social care. The analysis suggests that local welfare systems are key elements of the whole reforming process, and they have to be supported through both proper financial resources and stronger administrative and technical skills. Behind this passage, however, the needed legitimacy and autonomy for social policies at local level are not to be taken for granted.
Keywords: Fight against poverty, local welfare, active inclusion, new social card, implementation, municipalities.