Since the early 1990s in the Netherlands a process of restructuring social security has been going on. A central element is the introduction of regional Centres of Work and Income, stimulating people living on benefits to return to paid work and making services more client–oriented. In these centres, social security organizations and employment services are supposed to cooperate. In practice this cooperation is hard to accomplish. The intended activation of clients is hardly realized. The problems encountered by this policy are characteristic of a top–down reform strategy in a corporatist welfare state like the Netherlands.