baby Vittoria at the European Parliament

Licia Ronzulli hopes photographs published worldwide will draw attention to difficulties faced by working mothers..... "It's bizarre," she said. "We've been doing a lot, a lot of work in the European parliament and there was no interest in the press. Then I come with my baby and everybody wants to interview me.

"It was not a political gesture. It was first of all a maternal gesture -- that I wanted to stay with my daughter as much as possible, and to remind people that there are women who do not have this opportunity [to bring their children to work], that we should do something to talk about this."

Encouraged by the support she received from all parties, Ronzulli, 35, has called a meeting of like-minded parliamentarians next week to discuss ways to improve the lives of working mothers.

"We will do something with all the political parties together," she said. "We will discuss some kind of directive or proposal. Maybe we will make an appeal to the European commission, with all the political parties together our message will be all the more strong."

Ronzulli does not plan to bring Vittoria on a regular basis and said she would leave if her child began to cry: "It's an official meeting, it's not a creche. You can't have everybody coming in with children who might cry or who might want to play ... I'll come when it's possible. If I can bring her, I will. If it's not appropriate, then I won't."

She offered support to the French MEP Rachida Dati, who was criticised for returning to work five days after giving birth, saying it was a personal choice. Ronzulli said individual mothers should be able to stay at home or to go back to work.....