As regards the termination of the employment relationship for age reasons, the European Court of Justice is playing a propulsive role for the implementation of the anti-discrimination law. However, as emerges from recent judgments on this matter, the problems that arise from balancing the workers' fundamental social rights and the economic and employment policy choices of EU Member State governments are issues that remain central in the Court judgments. In this discussion are analyzed two recent judgments very important on this subject: in the Rasmussen it is highlighted how the Court once again reaffirms its own guidelines on the existence of a general principle of non-discrimination by age in the European system, stressing the strength of the legal consequences that this entails for the laws of the Member States. In the analysis of the Abercrombie case, on the other hand, problematic aspects of balancing the right to non-discrimination by age and employment policy choices by national governments are highlighted; these questions have created a considerable doctrinal debate.
Keywords: Anti-discrimination law; age discrimination; fundamental social rights; principle of non-discrimination; European Court judgments; employment relationship; employment policy.