The article explores the possibility for the European Court of Human Rights to play an important role in the sphere of social rights. Starting from the traditional dichotomy between European instruments on the protection of social rights and those on civil and political rights, focus is placed on the role played by Strasbourg in transforming the programmatic rules of the European Social Charter into the prescriptive rules of the Convention. If the overlapping areas of those instruments were an obstacle for the dynamic interpretation of the Convention, because of the ratione materiae incompetence of the Court, over the last decade the synergies between the two instruments have significantly grown. It remains the case that the catalogue of social rights enforceable under the Convention is incomparably less comprehensive than that afforded by the Italian Constitution. This does not mean that Strasbourg cannot influence the judicial protection of social rights in the Italian legal system, as has already happened for non-EU citizens. Further evolution can be expected, both by virtue of the growing synergies between the case-law of the European Committee of Social Rights and Strasbourg jurisprudence and by virtue of the integration of the Convention catalogue by means of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, in which most of the rights of the Social Charter are enshrined.