The article examines the role of EU in shaping work-family reconciliation policies in Hungary between the 1990s and 2011. More specifically, it looks at how members of the Hungarian Parliament framed European requirements and/ or standards, and how they used references to European processes in their arguments. The article distinguishes three periods of Europeanization. In the first period, references made to the European Union were sporadic. The second period before 2004 was the period of legal harmonisation. Finally, in the third period after the 2004 accession, principles and processes of the European Union became important reference points in parliamentary debates. European jargon – including the reconciliation of work and family life – entered the vocabulary of members of the parliament, who have been using it as an important resource. Furthermore, the availability of European funding has been an important trigger of reforms. However, within this period, the principle of reconciliation was used very differently depending on the parties in government, drawing attention to strategic usages of European norms to serve party politics.