Press release

Government launches Balance of Competences Review

The Government publishes a call for evidence on the balance of competence between the United Kingdom and the European Union on taxation.

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


On 30 November the Government published a call for evidence on the balance of competence between the United Kingdom and the European Union on taxation.

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.

HM Treasury is leading on the strand of the review covering taxation and is seeking views from individuals and groups with an interest or experience in taxation policy and its application on how the competence is used and what that means for the UK.

The public call for evidence on taxation will run for twelve weeks from 30 November 2012 to 22 February 2013. Following the call for evidence, a report on the current balance of competence on taxation and what this means for the national interest will be published by summer 2013.

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 on The Balance of Competences Review can be found on the Cabinet Office/FCO website.

  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.

Published 30 November 2012