This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Glossary of summaries
Under this fundamental principle of EU law, laid down in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union, the EU acts only within the limits of the competences that EU countries have conferred upon it in the Treaties. These competences are defined in Articles 2–6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. Competences not conferred on the EU by the Treaties thus remain with EU countries.
While the principle of conferral governs the limits to EU competences, the use of those competences is governed by the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.