Press release

Final calls for evidence on Balance of Competences review

Launch of the final round of calls for evidence in the Balance of Competences Review looking at the impact of EU action on the UK.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Balance of Competences Review is part of a Coalition commitment to analyse and examine the UK’s relationship with the European Union (EU).

Today sees the launch of the fourth and final set of calls for evidence in the review process covering topics from Economic and Monetary policy to Information Rights; Education to Enlargement. Calls for evidence will be open for submissions until summer 2014.

Welcoming the launch, Minister for Europe David Lidington said:

Together the first and second reports in the Balance of Competences review received over 1,000 submissions from a broad range of organisations across the UK and beyond. Thanks to these contributions, we are assembling a solid body of evidence about the impact that the EU has on our everyday lives that will help to inform the wider debate about reform both at home and in Europe.

Once complete, the Review will provide the most extensive analysis of the impact of EU membership on the UK ever undertaken. This fourth consultation is your final opportunity to have your say on how EU membership affects you, and to make sure that your views are heard on the Review.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has responsibility for the reports covering: Enlargement; Subsidiarity and Proportionality; and leading on co-ordinating the report on Voting, Consular and Statistics with Cabinet Office and the UK Statistics Authority.

The Enlargement report will assess the balance of competences between the EU and the UK in the field of EU enlargement. It will look at the impact of enlargement on UK interests, the development and effectiveness of the EU enlargement process, lessons learned from previous enlargements, the role of the Member States and EU Institutions in the process and the future challenges and opportunities that enlargement will bring.

The report on the principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality and Article 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union will present views on how they are used and applied in practice, what changes could be considered and what the future challenges are.

The Voting, Consular and Statistics review covers three policy strands each led by the relevant department: Voting (Cabinet Office), Consular (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) and Statistics (the National Statistician on behalf of the UK Statistics Authority).

  • The voting strand seeks views on the balance of competences on subjects including how to vote and stand as a candidate at elections, the franchise (who can vote) and EU democratic engagement initiatives (such as the European Citizens’ Initiative).
  • The consular strand will consider the EU’s limited competence in Consular Services, which extends to the coordination of efforts between Member States and the requirement for Member States to treat unrepresented EU citizens, in consular matters, in the same way as they would treat their own nationals.
  • The statistics strand of the review looks at EU competence to require statistical reports, and how that impacts issues such as data collection, respondent burden and the level of demand for information at a time of resource pressure.

Consultations on the third semester reports closed in January and reports are due to be published this summer.

Further information

Read more about the Balance of Competences or join in the conversation on Twitter using #BOCReview

Follow Foreign Office Minister David Lidington on twitter @DLidington

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Published 27 March 2014