Over the last ten years, the WHO regional European Office, the European Commission and Parliament, and the Council of Europe have discussed and approved several statements on psychiatric care and mental health - both considered as rights of a potential future European citizenship. The cultural and political trends of these European statements are at least twofold: the first trend stresses the necessity of protecting society against dangerous patients (heavy psychiatric care for the poor, or lack of mental health opportunities for all); the second trend underlines the need for strong community based mental health services, in which psychiatric professionals would not always play a central role. Both are European and legalized trends. During the same period, the Italian Parliament discussed a proposal to alter the law 180 (law on the psychiatric reform passed in 1978) and, in 2006, a governmental commission delivered a report on the reorganization of the Italian forensic psychiatric system; moreover, in July 2007 the English Parliament passed a law introducing Community Treatment Orders. For these different reasons the success of mental health policies in the European region is not guaranteed. In addition, there are other disquieting facts, such as: the failing power of the European Commission and Parliament on the national civic rights policies; the impact of the national media in reinforcing stigma and the fear of psychiatric patients; the drive of the biological approach in psychiatry in the European medical schools.