The EU has only the competences that have been conferred on it by member states. Competences not conferred on the EU through the treaties remain the exclusive competence of the member states. The Union may act only within the limits of the competences conferred on it. The fact that the Union is given competence in relation to a specific area does not mean that it can act on any aspect of that area, nor that it can act in any way it chooses. The Union can only exercise the powers it has been given by the member states for the purposes for which they were given and in accordance with the principles laid down in Articles 2 to 6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, as amended.