On 6 June 2016 an ENPA delegation of press publishers from across Europe met with the European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by the news media sector in the digital single market, with a particular focus on copyright, VAT and the AVMS Directive.
Delegation from right to left: Tomáš Kamenec from Petit Press Publishing House in Slovakia, ENPA Vice President Valdo Lehari jr., Publisher of Reutlinger General-Angzeiger in Germany, Sophie Scrive, ENPA Deputy Executive Director, ENPA President Carlo Perrone, Vice President of Italiana Editrice S.p.A. (ITEDI), Andre Veskimeister, Member of the Management Board of Ekspress Grupp in Estonia, Vice-President Andrus Ansip, François Le Hodey, CEO of IPM Group (La Libre Belgique), ENPA Vice President Bruno Pachent, Directeur Exécutif de Média Sud Europe in France, Carolin Wehrhahn, Head of BDZV Brussels Office
Brussels, 26 May 2016 - EMMA and ENPA welcome ECOFIN Council conclusions on VAT for e-publications
On 25 May 2016, the Council of the EU (ECOFIN) adopted conclusions on the VAT Action Plan “Towards a single EU VAT area”, published on 7 April by the European Commission. The Council notably “INVITES the Commission to present a legislative proposal which integrates provisions concerning VAT rates for e-publications in the context of Digital Single Market initiatives by the end of 2016 and include an impact assessment”.
Newspaper and magazine publishers welcome this statement, which supports the European Commission announcement to come out with a legislative proposal by the end of the year. As announced by President Juncker in May 2015, this proposal should allow Member States to apply the same reduced rates existing on printed newspapers, magazines and books to digital publications.
According to the Sixth VAT Directive, Member States can apply reduced rates to the printed press while they have to apply the standard VAT rate to the digital press. This situation does not make sense at a time where more and more citizens read press content indifferently on all existing platforms and devices, be it on paper, Internet, mobile, tablet or social media.
ENPA and EMMA have therefore long been calling for a reform of the VAT system that would modernise the rules and take into account today´s reality. We expect from this change a boost for the development of attractive digital press offers, an eased access for citizens to press products of their choice, and a positive impact on the economy, employment and democracy.
EMMA and ENPA will continue supporting the institutions in their intention to adapt the VAT rules to the digital world and allow for reduced, super-reduced and zero VAT rates for the printed and digital press.
Brussels, 25 May 2016 - European press publishers’ associations take note of the Commission proposal for an updated Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive
Offering more advertising in primetime TV will negatively impact the financing of newspapers and magazines.
Today, the European Commission has presented a legislative proposal reviewing the current AVMS Directive. This proposal aims, amongst other things, at giving more flexibility in the area of commercial communications, in particular as regards to the rules TV broadcasters have to follow. The proposal also foresees a limited extension of the scope of the Directive to video-sharing platforms without editorial responsibility.
First of all, EMMA and ENPA welcome the fact that, according to the proposal, the scope of the AVMS Directive in principle seems to remain limited to services whose principal purpose is the provision of audiovisual programmes. By doing so, the European Commission seems to ensure that editorial videos that do not form the principal purpose of editorial content – which would include the numerous digital press offers – do not fall under the scope of the Directive.
Videos, which merely complement publishers’ written editorial content cannot be regulated the same way as audiovisual media services. These videos are nevertheless regulated as editorial media and information society services, while respecting press freedom, one of the EU’s fundamental values.”
However, the reference in the proposal to stand-alone parts of online newspapers featuring audiovisual programmes or user-generated videos where those parts can be considered dissociable from their main activity, remains questionable and could impact editorial independence and press freedom.
Secondly, ENPA and EMMA are strongly concerned about the proposal to replace the current quantitative limitation of 12 minutes per hour in TV advertising by a 20% daily limit. The existing limitation is not only in place for consumer protection purposes but also because it allows for a more balanced advertising market where a plurality of media can co-exist successfully.
Whereas the current hourly limit remains relevant and should not be given up, the Commission’s proposal will offer more advertising opportunities in particular during TV primetime. This flexibility will make the financing of newspapers and magazines more difficult, especially as regards investment in professional journalistic content but also as regards employment.”
For further information, please contact:
ENPA Deputy Executive Director
+32 (0)2 551 01 90
EMMA EU & Public Affairs Manager
+32 (0)2 536 06 05
A press freedom conference in Europe’s Cultural Capital 2016 – Wroclaw (Poland)
Europe’s media sector faces a number of challenges to press freedom. On 1 July 2016, ENPA together with EMMA and an alliance of other press and journalism associations is organizing an event to examine how national and international politics impact media freedom and to explore how the need for high investment in investigative journalism and independent content can be embedded into a sustainable business approach in light of the fast-paced technological innovations happening in the sector. The event, “(R)EVOLUTION OF EUROPE’S PRESS” will take place in this year’s European Capital of Culture: Wroclaw, Poland.
For more information and to register please vistit the event website www.revolutionpress.eu
Adequate legal protection is needed to ensure the diversity of the press and the future of quality Journalism in Europe
The European Commission has launched a consultation on publishers’ rights on 23 March 2016. This provides an important opportunity for the Commission, ahead of legislative proposals for EU copyright reform, to properly assess the copyright-related challenges faced by the publishing community in the digital era, what is at stake and the appropriate way to address these issues at EU level.
The consultation is much welcomed by the publishing community, as it provides the opportunity to acknowledge the value of the press to society and the digital economy, and to set the record straight on the challenges posed in the digital environment and how to best address them at EU level.
The hope is that it could ultimately lead to much-needed adequate legal protection of publishers in the EU copyright framework, in particular by clarifying at EU level that publishers, like the other content producers (broadcasters, film producers, phonogram producers], are listed as rightholders in EU copyright law.
For further information please visit www.publishersright.eu