The author reconstructs the different typologies of affirmative actions existing in the national law, after deepening the close relationship with the Eu provinsions (which are many and have been amended from the 1970s to date). As for the last phase, the analysis refers to the 2000/43 and 2000/78 directives, passed by the Eu legislator. The affirmative actions found belong to 3 types: the ones concerning gender discriminations (including so called concicliation actions), actions "other than gender" and actions of disadvantage. The latter - which stem from the recent italian labour law reform - cannot be properly defined as affirmative actions and, under certain conditions, are to be considered illegal. Finally, from the conclusions, the author critically reconstructs the story of affirmative actions of the above cited directives which have not been implemented by the d.lgs 215 and 216 of 2003.