Press release

Government launches Balance of Competence Review on Energy

The government has published a call for evidence on the balance of competence between the United Kingdom and the European Union on energy.

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


The government has today published a call for evidence on the balance of competence between the United Kingdom and the European Union on energy.

The Foreign Secretary launched the Balance of Competences Review in Parliament on 12 July 2012, taking forward the Coalition commitment to analyse and examine the UK’s relationship with the European Union.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is leading on the area of the review covering energy and is seeking views from individuals and groups with an interest or experience in energy policy and its application on how the competence is used and what that means for the UK.

The public call for evidence on energy will run for three months from 24th October 2013 to 15th January 2014. Following the call for evidence, a report on the current balance of competence on energy and what this means for the national interest will be published in summer 2014.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey said:

“The Balance of Competences Review is an important and unique opportunity for people and interest groups to have their say on how we interact with the EU and the effect that EU legislation has on our energy policy.

“Energy plays an important role in all sectors of society and driving the economy. I would strongly urge people to take advantage of this opportunity, make their views known, and help inform this important national debate. I look forward to hearing the views of interested parties during the course of the Call for Evidence”.

Notes for editors

  1. 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.

  2. The review is broken down into a series of reports on specific areas of EU competence, spread over four 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. Further information can be found on the Balance of Competences pages on GOV.UK.

  3. 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.

  4. The call for evidence for the Energy review will include the internal energy market and its contribution to the single market and growth; security of energy supply, indigenous resources and energy infrastructure development; sustainability and energy efficiency measures, renewables and carbon capture and storage; the EU-external energy dimension (role of EU in international organisations and agreements with third countries); and nuclear and Euratom.

  5. The report will not include climate change aspects of the Department’s work, international climate change negotiations, the reduction of collective EU Member State greenhouse gas emissions via burden-sharing arrangements and the EU Emissions Trading System. These issues will be covered in the Environment and Climate Change Report due to published this winter.

  6. Please enter you submissions to

Published 24 October 2013