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Press Publishers in Europe Applaud the French Government’s Decision to Apply the Same VAT Rate for Printed and Digital Press

Medienpolitik Startseite Mehrwertsteuer für Presseprodukte

ENPA, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association, and EMMA, the European Magazine Media Association, representing the press sector in Europe, express their strong support for the initiative of the French Government applying the same VAT rate (2.1%) for all press products and services on all platforms (print and digital) in respect of the principle of fiscal equality and technological neutrality.

The 33 undersigned national press associations, members of EMMA and ENPA, would like to provide their support to this initiative and encourage their national governments to call for change at EU level without any further delay.

This decision, announced to the French press associations (SPQN, SPQR, SEPM, FNPS, SPIIL) on Friday 17 January, will be followed shortly by a legislative proposal, together with an immediate instruction to apply the 2.1% for digital press in France.

This is a first step which is decisive to change VAT rules in Europe, in a context where other national governments position themselves clearly in favour of zero, super reduced or reduced VAT rates for printed and digital press. For instance Germany expressed recently its support for reduced VAT rates for the printed and digital press in the governmental coalition treaty.

EMMA and ENPA have strongly defended this position and called for such an urgent change in order to align the VAT rate which currently applies for the printed press to digital press products and services. This would encourage a pluralistic, independent and vibrant press sector in Europe.

ENPA President Ivar Rusdal stated: "This landmark decision should act as a call for action for all the Member States and the European Union. It is now essential for the future of the independent press sector that the European Commission puts forward, without any further delay, a proposal that would allow Member States to apply the same VAT rate for the digital press as currently applicable for print."

EMMA President David Hanger emphasized: "The French government has understood that the future of our digital business models strongly depends on appropriate conditions regarding VAT. It is a major step that the Commission should take into account before the end of its mandate in order to fulfil the objectives of the Digital Agenda."