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Slovenia

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2010 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 709 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(99) 512 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 712 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [SEC(2001) 1755 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1208 - Not published in the Official Journal].
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission was optimistic about the medium-term outlook for bringing Slovenian legislation into line with the Community acquis, provided the legislative work was pursued. Hence it invited Slovenia to adopt a Consumer Protection Act, as well as a certain number of amendments designed to reinforce consumer protection, notably as regards general product safety.

However, the November 1998 Report noted that no major effort had been made to adopt the acquis and emphasised that many of the standards adopted were not fully in line with Community legislation.

In its October 1999 Report, the Commission considered that Slovenia had made some progress and stressed the need to improve administrative structures, particularly with regard to market surveillance.

The October 2002 Report highlighted progress by Slovenia in aligning its consumer protection legislation and in developing the administrative capacity required in this field. Negotiations on this chapter have been provisionally concluded. Slovenia has not asked for any transitional provisions in this field.

The October 2003 Report indicates that Slovenia complies with most of the Community acquis concerning safety-related and non-safety-related measures. However, it still has to transpose the revised Directive on general product safety (safety-related measures) and effectively apply all its legislation concerning non-safety-related measures.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The Community acquis covers the protection of consumers' economic interests (notably in the fields of misleading advertising, indication of prices, consumer credit, unfair contract terms, distance selling, package travel, and timeshares), general product safety, cosmetics safety, the labelling of textile products and toy safety.

The European Association Agreement provides for aligning the legislation with Community law and for cooperation measures to bring Slovenian consumer protection law fully into line with the Community rules. The measures set out in the first phase of the White Paper on the Central and Eastern European Countries and the Internal Market (1995) focus on the improvement of product safety, notably in respect of cosmetics, textiles and toys, and on the protection of consumers' economic interests, mainly in the field of misleading advertising, consumer credit, unfair contract terms, and indication of prices. The second-phase measures concern package travel and timeshares. New, recently adopted Community legislation (distance selling, comparative advertising and indication of prices) must also be transposed.

EVALUATION

Non-safety-related measures

The adoption of amendments to the law on consumer protection adopted in 1998, which should transpose a number of Community Directives, primarily in non-safety-related fields, has progressed well, except with regard to the acquis on misleading and comparative advertising.

One part of the Community acquis concerning non-safety-related measures has still to be transposed: namely, the aforementioned legislation on misleading and comparative advertising and the use of languages in commercial communications aimed at consumers.

It is also necessary to increase the human and financial resources of the Consumer Protection Office and the other administrative bodies in this area.

The Slovene Government must also give more support to the promotion and setting up of alternative dispute-settlement systems.

Consumer associations

The role of non-governmental organisations must be promoted so that they take part in the implementation of consumer policy, particularly the development of product safety standards.

The Government must also increase the human and financial resources of these organisations and clearly define their tasks and those of the Consumer Protection Office.

Safety-related measures

Slovenia has transposed the acquis concerning safety-related measures apart from the revised Directive on general product safety.

Moreover, action still needs to be taken to improve the capability and coordination of the main bodies responsible for market surveillance. The human and financial resources of the market surveillance system, which consists of five institutions responsible for consumer protection, should also be increased.

In order to complete its preparations for accession, Slovenia's efforts must therefore concentrate on improving the administrative structures in place so that they can effectively carry out their market surveillance tasks.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Last updated: 09.02.2004
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