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Competencies of the EU

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Competencies of the EUThe area of EU competencies can be a difficult one to get your head around.  Women for Europe would like to bring some clarity to this area.


  • The EU cannot change the Irish minimum wage.
  • The EU cannot privatise our health and education systems.


These areas are under Irish Competency!

The EU has exclusive competence over the following areas:


  • Customs Union
  • Economic and monetary policy of the Union
  • Competition Law
  • Common position in international trade negotiations
  • Concluding of some international agreements
  • Conservation of marine biological resources
The EU and all member states have shared competence over the following areas.  This means that all member states work together through the European Parliament and European Council to draft and agree policy and laws in these areas:
  • Food
  • Fishing
  • Jobs
  • Environment
  • Pollution
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Human Rights and Development Aid
Ireland has exclusive competence over the following areas:
  • Education and vocational training
  • Culture
  • Public Health and Hospitals
  • Abortion
  • Our neutrality
  • Direct Taxation (this includes corporate taxation)
  • Housing
  • National Citizenship
  • Any area where we have not given the EU the authority to act
Accusations by the no side are untrue.  Ireland and the Irish government retain control over public health and hospitals and education and vocational training.  Privatisation of these areas is not something that the EU can implement.