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Parliamentary questions
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13 April 2021
E-000363/2021(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Reynders
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000363/2021

In addition to specific EU or national rules on the admissibility and the transparency of changes in consumer or mortgage credit contracts, Directive 93/13/EEC(1) requires terms in consumer contracts to be fair and in plain, intelligible language.

To be valid, the existing contract terms, the terms establishing a procedure for changes in the contract and the new contract terms resulting from it must comply with the requirements of transparency and fairness under this directive as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Details on the relevant case law can be found in Section 3 of the Commission Guidance(2) on Directive 93/13/EEC.

Directive 2008/48/EC(3) on the provision to consumers of unsecured loans ranging from EUR 200 up to EUR 75 000 provides rules on pre-contractual information. This directive also establishes that, where applicable, the consumer shall be informed of any change in the borrowing rate before the change enters into force.

Directive 2014/17/EU(4) on agreements covering credit for consumers secured by a mortgage or otherwise relating to residential immovable property establishes rules in particular with regard to business conduct principles and information disclosure to consumers.

The directive also requires the creditor to inform the consumer of any change in the borrowing rate. Where a modification of the terms of the contract results in the conclusion of a new contract, the requirements of the directive on new contracts have to be complied with.

The Commission monitors the implementation of EC law by the Member States. It will assess any information concerning the Slovak legislation as regards its compliance with EU consumer law, and, if necessary, address the issue with the Slovak authorities(5).

(1)Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts, OJ L 95, 21.4.1993, p.29. For contract terms which could be considered unfair in all cases see Annex I to the directive, in particular subparagraphs (j) and (k) of Section 1, and subparagraph (b) of Section 2) regarding unilateral changes made by the seller or supplier.
(2)Commission Notice — Guidance on the interpretation and application of Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts, OJ C 323, 27.9.2019, p. 4‐92, COM(2019) 5325 final.
(3)Directive 2008/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on credit agreements for consumers and repealing Council Directive 87/102/EEC, OJ L 133, 22.5.2008, p. 66.
(4)Directive 2014/17/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on credit agreements for consumers relating to residential immovable property and amending Directives 2008/48/EC and 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 Text with EEA relevance, OJ L 60, 28.2.2014, p. 34‐85.
(5)Communication from the Commission — EC law: Better results through better application, C/2016/8600, OJ C 18, 19.1.2017.
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