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Study on the application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive in the EU

Directive 2005/29/EC on Unfair Commercial Practices was adopted on 11 May 2005. The Directive, which is based on the principle of full harmonization, lays down rules for the fight against unfair commercial practices including misleading and aggressive practices. The Directive applies to business-to-consumer unfair commercial practices harming the economic interest of consumers. By way of exception to the principle of full harmonization, in the fields of financial services and immovable property the Directive, in Art 3(9), recognises the right of the Member States to go beyond its provisions to further protect the economic interests of consumers.

Civic Consulting analysed for DG Justice of the European Commission how the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) is applied across the EU. The study comprised three main tasks:

- Task 1 concerned the identification and description of national provisions against unfair commercial practices in the fields of financial services and immovable property in all EU Member States;

- Task 2 concerned the identification and description of the most common unfair commercial practices in both areas across the EU;

- Task 3 comprised the development of recommendations to the Commission for further policy initiatives in the fields of financial services and immovable property. Civic Consulting made recommendations as to whether the exemption under Art. 3(9) should be kept or removed.  

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