The growth of street prostitution over the last decade has called the abolitionist policy adopted by Italy since the approval of the Merlin Law in 1958, which banned brothels (to which the state previously granted licences), outlawed prostitution and moreover punished both its exploitation, any form of prostitution organised in closed spaces and even its promotion for non-profit goals. In the 13th legislature over twenty bills have been presented in order to change or revoke this law. This article explores current concepts underlying prostitution policies and the main ideas inspiring current reform proposals. The latter are very fragmented and heterogeneous, even when they are put forth by the same political forces (which reflects an international phenomenon, in which parties formally linked to each other have adopted very different standpoints within European Union member states). In order to evaluate the potential results of such reforms, research in other EU countries is examined.