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Detail of outcome
This report examines how the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality apply in areas of European Union action and is led by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This report is primarily about how and when competences are exercised, and by whom. It is a reflection and analysis of the evidence submitted by experts, non-governmental organisations, businesspeople, Members of Parliament and other interested parties, either in writing or orally, as well as a literature review of relevant material and other Balance of Competences reports.
Where appropriate, the report sets out the current position agreed within the Coalition Government for handling this policy area in the EU. It does not predetermine or prejudge proposals that either Coalition party may make in the future for changes to the EU or about the appropriate balance of competences.
Detail of feedback received
We received a number of submissions to the subsidiarity and proportionality call for evidence. The submissions, which were received from a broad range of stakeholders, were either in writing or made orally at engagement events. We also conducted a literature review of relevant material.
The UK government is carrying out a review of the EU’s competences. The review will provide an informed and objective analysis of what EU membership means for the UK and our national interest. Full details of the review programme can be found in the Balance of Competencies Review detailed guide.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is leading on the report on Subsidiarity and Proportionality and Article 352 TFEU in the fourth semester of the review.
Unlike other Balance of Competences reports, this report will not cover a distinct area of competence. Subsidiarity and proportionality are fundamental principles which should be applied across EU activity, to ensure the EU acts only when necessary, that action takes place at the lowest level possible, and that the means are proportionate to the end. Article 352 provides the EU with the power to act to achieve any of the objectives laid down in the EU Treaties where no other treaty article so provides, subject to a number of procedural safeguards at both EU and national level.
We would like to hear views on how the principles are used and applied in practice, what changes could be considered and what the future challenges are. The report will be based on evidence submitted during the call for evidence period from 27 March to week commencing 30 June 2014.
How to respond
We welcome evidence from anyone, particularly those with relevant knowledge, expertise or experience. We are seeking contributions from academics, lawyers, companies, civil society, non-governmental organisations and the public.
The evidence should be objective, factual information about the impact or effect of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and/or Article 352 TFEU in your area of expertise. We will be also be hosting a series of events to proactively seek evidence and to give further information on the Review in London, Brussels and Bath between April and June. To register your interest in these events or if you have any other questions relating to the review please contact BalanceofCompetencesSubsidiarity@fco.gov.uk
For more information, please download our call for evidence documents:
Wherever possible please send your response via email. The closing date for the submission of responses is the week commencing 30 June 2014. Responses can also be sent by post to:
BoC Subsidiarity and Proportionality Team
Projects Task Force, K131
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
We look forward to hearing from you.