The UK government is presently engaged in a review of the EU’s competences, which the Foreign Secretary launched in July 2012. This review is an audit of what the EU does and how it affects the UK.
The review is broken down into a number of individual reports covering specific areas of competence, and is taking place over the course of 4 semesters:
Autumn 2012 to Summer 2013
Spring 2013 to Winter 2013
Autumn 2013 to Summer 2014
Spring 2014 to Autumn 2014
The process is – Government departments consult Parliament and its committees, business, the devolved administrations, and civil society to look in depth at how the EU’s competences (the power to act in particular areas conferred on it by the EU Treaties) work in practice. Individuals and organisations may submit evidence to the review.
The UK’s European partners and the EU institutions also contribute evidence to the review, and the review examines issues that are of interest across the EU.
Government departments will then report on areas of competence and their findings will be published during the course of the review.
Environment and Climate Change, and Transport were part of Semester 2 (consultation is closed, reports not yet published). Agriculture, Health and Safety (as part of employment), Fisheries and Energy are part of Semester 3 (consultation underway).
Further information (FAQs), including how to submit evidence, is here.
The review will not make policy.