In recent years, European institutions have promoted the development of reconciliation policies in an overall context where most European countries are saying 'farewell to maternalism' (Orloff 2006) and are now implementing policies aimed at helping individuals (especially women) to combine paid work and family responsibilities. Is it possible to consider that these changes in national reconciliation policies have been due to EU actions in this policy field and, if so, what are the mechanisms of possible EU influence? In section one, we review the Europeanisation literature in order to situate our own perspective. In the second section, we present our approach in terms of 'national usages of Europe" In section three, we come back to the policy content to be analysed, presenting the EU definitions of reconciliation policies, and reviewing the tools we have used to situate each national case of care regimes and reconciliation policies. In the fourth section, we introduce our common hypotheses and the analytical framework that is used in all the articles of this special issue. Finally, in section five, we summarise our main findings.