Press release

Third set of calls for evidence on the government’s review of the balance of competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union

Three calls for evidence launched asking business groups, stakeholders and others to submit their views to reviews into 3 policy areas.

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


The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) today (21 October 2013) launched 3 calls for evidence asking business groups, stakeholders and others to submit their views to the Single Market: Free Movement of Services Review, Competition and Consumer Policy Review and the Cohesion Review, about how policy in these areas impacts the UK.

The calls for evidence relate to the following reviews:

  • the Single Market: Free Movement of Services: this review will consider public and defence procurement, company law and the mutual recognition of professional qualifications (MRPQ), as well as wider issues relating to the free movement of services across the EU
  • Competition and Consumer Policy: this review considers the rules governing competition between suppliers and the protection of consumers when purchasing a product or service. State aid rules will also be covered by this Review
  • Cohesion: this review covers the EU’s regional policy and its main financial instruments such as the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund as well as the European Social Fund

These 3 calls for evidence are part of a 2-year government review of the balance of competences between the UK and EU which was announced by the Foreign Secretary in July 2012.

The Balance of Competences Review will provide an informed and objective analysis of what EU membership means for the UK and our national interest. It is looking at the scope of the EU’s competences (the power to act in a particular area) as they affect the UK and how they are used.

The call for evidence period will run from 21 October 2013 to 13 January 2014.

Notes to editors

  1. The Foreign Secretary launched the Balance of Competences 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 review will produce a series of reports on specific areas of EU competence, spread over four semesters between autumn 2012 and autumn 2014 and will provide an analysis of what the UK’s membership of the EU means for the UK national interest. It will not be tasked with producing specific recommendations and will not prejudge future policy or look at alternative models for Britain’s overall relationship with the EU.

  2. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

    • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 21 October 2013