It is argued in this chapter that the European Union (EU) 1 has had a positive impact upon the scope of British women's rights at work and in social-security schemes. This argument is made, however, in the context of the politics of European integration, a context which is ambivalent with respect to the totality of the interests of women. Though the founders of the original European communities intended economic objectives to be a means of social and political transformation, their successors have tended to allow the instruments to displace the long-term goals as the defining feature of European integration. Legislation and judicial interpretations necessarily stem from Treaty provisions on employment and rights related to working status, and, thus, 'reinforce the public/private divide' (Hoskyns, 1996a, p. 14; 1996b). Yet, at the same time, European policy 'is beginning to transcend the field of employment and influence the domestic and "private" spheres of women's lives' (Hoskyns, 1996a, p. 14).