Newspaper and magazine publishers react to Court of Justice of the European Union decision regarding VAT applied to e-books

Press publishers across Europe today called on the European Commission to come forward rapidly with a proposal allowing Member States to adapt VAT rates for digital publications, following yesterday’s ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding VAT on e-books. ENPA, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association and EMMA, the European Magazine Media Association, underlined that the negative CJEU ruling against France and Luxembourg, following their consistent application of a lower VAT rate to print and e-books, demonstrated the need for the EU to update urgently its VAT system to the reality of today’s digital market. Press publishers urged the European Commission to present without further delay a legislative proposal allowing Member States to apply to digital press the same zero, super reduced and reduced VAT rates that currently apply to printed press. This could be done in the context of the Commission’s forthcoming work programme to achieve a Digital Single Market in Europe. Newspaper and magazine publishers regard this change as indispensable to remove a major obstacle to the further development of the digital press market in Europe. Lowering the VAT rate on digital press would promote the access of European citizens to authoritative and independent press content on all platforms, which plays such a crucial role in European democracy. Several Member States and many Members of the European Parliament have already called for this essential adaptation of the EU VAT system to the digital age.

For further information:

Max von Abendroth,
EMMA Executive Director
Tel: +32 (0)2 536 06 06

Sophie Scrive
Deputy Executive Director
ENPA–European Newspaper Publishers’ Association
Tel: +32 2 551 01 90


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.