12 Colum. J. Eur. L. 695 (2006)
Giuseppe B. Abbamonte. Head of the unit in the Health and Consumer Department of the European Commission dealing with the regulation of unfair commercial practices and other consumer protection legislation.
This Article describes the structure, objectives, and justification of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive in terms of improved regulation, the liberalization of the Internal Market, and consumer protection. It then reviews the main provisions of the Directive and briefly compares them with the corresponding provisions of the US. Federal Statements on Deception and Unfairness. The tests of the General Prohibition set out in Article 5 of the Directive are analyzed in detail and illustrated by means of examples.
This Article sets forth the proposition that the Directive should considerably increase the overall level of consumer protection and legal certainty in the EU and remove a number of barriers to cross-border trade in the EU. In order to achieve these objectives, the Directive should be implemented correctly by the Member States so that their laws will achieve equivalent results. In this context, it is particularly important that the Member States recognize the specificity of consumer protection, as compared to unfair competition, and do not circumvent the maximum harmonization introduced by the Directive. It is also necessary that the Member States establish effective enforcement bodies and mechanisms to make sure that the Directive is properly enforced.