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Parliamentary questions
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11 February 2020
Answer given by Mr Reynders
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003695/2019

The Court of Justice of the European Union has indeed developed a number of specific procedural requirements for national courts under Council Directive 93/13/EEC(1) on unfair terms in consumer contracts in order to ensure that consumers are effectively protected. Amongst other things, national courts should assess the unfairness of standard contract terms of their own motion (ex officio) and not only if a consumer raises this issue. Further details on this case law can be found in Section 5 of the Guidance Notice(2) of the Commission on Directive 93/13/EEC which was adopted on 22 July 2019.

In connection with an infringement procedure which the Commission opened in April 2013 and closed in March 2018, Slovakia made significant changes to its legislation in the period 2014-2017 in order to enhance the effectiveness of consumer protection, in particular in the field of unfair contract terms and consumer loans. Those changes included clarifications on the mandatory nature and the ex officio control of consumer law, as well as other improvements in the rules of procedure.

Should the Commission receive new complaints pointing to any specific infringements of EU consumer law in the current Slovak legislation or practice of the Slovak courts, it will examine such complaints and, if necessary, address the issue with the Slovak authorities.

(1) OJ L 95, 21.4.1993, p. 29-34.
(2)OJ C 323, 27.9.2019, p. 4‐92, COM(2019) 5325 final.
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