Department for Transport
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Government launches balance of competences review on transport

Balance of competences call for evidence published.

The government has yesterday (14 May 2013) published a call for evidence on the balance of competence between the United Kingdom and the European Union on transport.

The Foreign Secretary launched the balance of competence review in Parliament on 12 July 2012, taking forward the coalition commitment to examine the balance of competences between the UK and the European Union.

The Department for Transport is leading on the strand of the review covering transport and is seeking views from individuals and groups with an interest or experience in transport policy and its application on how the competence is used and what that means for Britain.

The public call for evidence on transport will run for 12 weeks from 14 May to 6 August 2013. Following the call for evidence, a report on the current balance of competence on transport and what this means for the national interest will be published by the end of the year.

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Notes to editors

The balance of competences review will provide an analysis of what the UK’s membership of the EU means for the UK national interest. It will not produce specific recommendations and will not prejudge future policy, nor will it look at alternative models for Britain’s overall relationship with the EU.

The review is broken down into a series of reports on specific areas of EU competence, spread over 4 semesters between autumn 2012 and autumn 2014. It is led by the government but will also involve non-governmental experts, organisations and other individuals who wish to contribute their views. Foreign governments, including our EU partners and the EU institutions, are also being invited to submit responses. The process will be comprehensive, evidence-based and analytical. The progress of the review will be transparent, including in respect of the contributions submitted. 

The term ‘competence’ is used to describe the powers, conferred on the EU by the member states, to undertake specific actions. The EU’s competences are set out in the EU treaties, which provide the legal basis for any actions taken by the EU institutions. The EU can only act within the limits of the competences conferred on it by the treaties. This means there must be a legal basis for the EU to act.

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