European press publishers reject the suggestion of the Commission-appointedHigh Level Group on Taxation concerning VAT on print and digital press.

European newspaper and magazine publishers have written to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta and Vice President Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) to express their deep disappointment following the publication last week of the Report of the Commission-appointed High Level Group on Taxation of the digital economy.

The High Level Group Report suggests that the same standard VAT rate should be applied to newspapers and magazines in both print and digital formats. This would inevitably mean an increase of the existing zero, super-reduced and reduced rates of VAT on printed newspapers and magazines. Today’s lower VAT rates are absolutely essential because of the particular role the press plays in democracy. European legislators have long recognised this crucial role and the need for the press to benefit from lower VAT rates.

Reduced, super reduced and zero VAT rates are essential for the dissemination and accessibility of professional press products. Abolishing the existing lower rates for the printed press would have dramatic consequences for publishing houses across Europe, leading to close downs and less pluralism.

However applying the same VAT rates at the lowest level for both print and digital press would facilitate citizens’ access to press products of their choice, as well as boost the development of the digital press market. This would have a positive impact not only on the European economy and growth, but help to promote the positive role of the press in stimulating civic engagement and social inclusion in Europe.

For further information:

Deputy Executive Director
Tel: +32 (0)2 551 01 90

Amandine HAHNEL
European Affairs Manager
Tel: +32 2 536 06 08


The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats.

The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 14 national associations across 14 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.