The inclusion of the principle of equal pay between men and women in the Treaty of Rome in 1957 was an important first step in a long evolution towards achieving equal opportunities between men and women in all areas and at all levels of society. From the beginning of its activities, the European Parliament has worked for the adoption and implementation of the principle of equality in the Community and in the Member States. However, after the first direct elections, Parliament’s role has become much more active and concrete. Despite their limited mandate, the first two temporary committees,... the ad hoc committee created in 1979 and the Committee of Inquiry created in 1981, have provided a solid basis for the work of the standing committees on women’s rights, the first of which was founded in 1984. The Committee on Women’s Rights has significantly contributed to the development, adoption and implementation of Community legislation on gender equality. At the same time, often from its own initiative, the Committee has raised many questions related to the situation of women in the changing Europe. Over the years, the competences of the Committee have been expanded, first to the promotion of equal opportunities in 1999 and then to the promotion of gender equality in 2004. This book traces the first two decades of the activity of the Committee on Women’s Rights and its essential role in the definition, implementation and development of equal opportunities and gender equality in the European Community. The European Parliament, aiming at promoting real equality of opportunities in the economic, political, social and cultural activity, has never ceased to insist that the EU shows a greater commitment and takes more concrete steps to integrate the principle of gender equality in all EU policies. Since the Treaty of Rome, the European Union has made remarkable progress in the field of gender equality. Since the Treaty of Amsterdam, equality of opportunities is one of most important tasks of the European Union. However, much still remains to be done in order to make equality between women and men a reality in Europe. The European Parliament and its Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality continue their activities so that, sixty years after the Treaty of Rome, equal opportunities could become a reality not only before the law but also in the everyday life of men and women in Europe.