European press publishers underline the need for an alignment of digital and print VAT rates, following Council Ecofin Meeting
Brussels, 16 June 2017. European press publishers regret the outcome of today’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) meeting, which ended without a political agreement on the adoption of the proposal to amend the existing EU VAT directive in order to allow Member States to apply reduced VAT rates to digital publications.
Earlier this month, members of the European Parliament indicated their broad support of the European Commission proposal by formally adopting its non-binding report which allowed reduced VAT rates for the digital press.
The current VAT Directive (2006/112) allows for reduced-rates to be applied only to printed versions of magazines and newspapers at EU level, meaning that digital publications have to apply the full VAT rate. Since people increasingly access content on mobile and digital devices, the current directive no longer reflects reality. The push to modify the directive to allow Member States to align digital and print VAT rates was first initiated by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in a speech in 2015, and has been supported by both EMMA and ENPA ever since.
Without the agreement in the European Council, the file will continue to be discussed under the Estonian Presidency, which starts on 1 July 2017.
To download a pdf of the full press release, click here.
Council's general approach on the draft audiovisual media services (AVMS)
directive raises concerns for media pluralism
Press publishers deeply regret that Member States have given up the existing hourly-based limit for TV advertising
Brussels, 24 May 2017 – Publishers of newspapers and magazines in Europe are concerned that the Council’s general approach on the proposal for an updated AVMS Directive could seriously undermine media pluralism and press freedom in Europe.
First of all, the Council text supports an unprecedented deregulation of the audiovisual advertising market, which is probably neither what consumers want nor certainly what the objective of maintaining a vibrant and pluralistic media landscape requires.
Despite repeated calls to avoid reopening the existing hourly-based time restriction for TV audiovisual commercial communications (Article 23), Member States in the Council significantly moved away from such a rule and, as a result, would create a highly insecure situation for the press sector on the advertising market. In that context, EMMA and ENPA urge Member States to, at the very least, not go further in terms of deregulation and, in particular, firmly oppose to the Parliament’s proposal to make isolated ad spots as admissible as any other advertisements.
Review of Audiovisual Media Services’ Directive still impacts media pluralism in the field of advertising
European Parliament has approved the mandate for inter-institutional negotiations to the rapporteurs on the AVMS file in spite of persisting concerns in regard to the press sector.
Brussels, 19 May 2017 – Following the plenary vote yesterday, it is now confirmed that the two Cult Committee rapporteurs have a mandate to move forward with interinstitutional negotiations. Publishers of newspapers and magazines in Europe are concerned that these negotiations will start on the basis of a Parliament report on the proposal for an updated AVMS Directive that could seriously compromise media pluralism and press freedom in Europe, despite strong disagreement expressed in the different political groups.
In particular, the Parliament’s report advocates for isolated ad spots to be as admissible as any other advertisement, including during TV prime time, although this provision (Article 19) was not part of the initial European Commission proposal. Similarly, the text changes the hourly based limitation in advertising rules to a daily percentage, which will fuel advertising during prime time hours. Finally, EMMA and ENPA regret that press websites are included under the scope of the Directive although their principal purpose is not to display videos which will entail many press freedom issues.
As a result, the mandate is backing measures that are harmful to a free and economically independent press. The report adopted on 25
April, which is the basis of this mandate, supports further deregulation of the audiovisual advertising rules which neither guarantee consumer protection nor create the conditions necessary for
media diversity and press freedom.
Press freedom and media pluralism under threat in European Parliament vote on the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive
Brussels, 20 April 2017 - Publishers of newspapers and magazines in Europe today sounded the alarm ahead of a vote in the European Parliament on the proposal for an updated AVMS Directive that could seriously undermine media pluralism and press freedom in Europe.
The European Parliament has finalized a package of compromise amendments on the AVMS proposal which will be voted in the Culture committee on 25 April. Despite repeated calls from press publishers to avoid an unprecedented deregulation of the audiovisual advertising market in Europe, the proposed compromise texts would have significant impacts on the press sector. (...)
The Commission proposal for an ePrivacy Regulation seriously undermines the economic sustainability of the digital press
Newspaper and magazine publishers hail 2017 as critical for the future of independent media and professional journalism
Tomorrow, 11 January, the EPP group in the European Parliament will kick off what will be a busy year for debates, hearings and legislative progress on the controversial EU copyright reform. (...)
European newspaper and magazine publishers welcome EU Commission’s proposal on reduced VAT for e-publications
Brussels, 1 December 2016 – The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) and the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA) jointly welcome the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive as regards rates of value added tax applied to books, newspapers and periodicals that endorses the possibility for all Member States to choose to apply zero, super reduced, or reduced VAT rates, which are currently applicable to printed newspapers and magazines, to the digital environment.
The proposal, which was released today, states:
“Member States should be enabled to align the VAT rates for electronically supplied publications with lower VAT rates for publications on any means of physical support.”
Press publishers join forces to safeguard democratic values in Europe by making the case for a strong European copyright
Brussels – 27 September 2016. “Empower Democracy” (www.empower-democracy.eu), officially launched today, is a cross-border alliance initiated by Europe’s press publishers to raise awareness about the crucial democratic role of the press, the need for a free, independent, pluralistic and vibrant press sector in Europe is acknowledged in the ongoing copyright reform.
Brussels, 20 September 2016 – ENPA - the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association - and EMMA - the European Magazine Media Association – have responded to the public consultation launched by the European Commission on reduced VAT rates for electronically supplied publications.
This public consultation paves the way for the Commission’s upcoming proposal which would allow Member States to apply the same zero, super reduced or reduced VAT rates applicable for printed newspapers and magazines also to the digital environment. In its reply to the public consultation, ENPA and EMMA have reiterated the urgent need for such a legislative change in the VAT legislation.
Brussels, 14 September 2016 - Newspaper and magazine publishers welcome the European Commission’s proposal for publishing rights
Europe’s leading Newspaper and Magazine Publishers’ Associations EMMA, ENPA, EPC and NME welcome today’s proposal by the European Commission to recognize publishers as rightholders in EU copyright law.
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.
PRESS RELEASE - Adoption of the Trade Secrets Directive by the European Parliament:
Investigative journalism must be guaranteed
Brussels, 14 April 2016 – Today, the European Parliament adopted the Directive on the protection of Trade Secrets. European journalists and media associations are concerned that this Directive could put journalists at risk therefore limiting their ability to investigate and report about businesses. This comes at a time when the “Panama Papers” revelations have reaffirmed the essential role that journalists, whistleblowers, and media play in informing citizens about issues of public interest.
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Reporters Without Borders (RWB), the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU - UER) take note of the adoption of the Trade Secrets Directive by the European Parliament today in the plenary.
PRESS RELEASE - Italian publisher Carlo Perrone elected as new ENPA President
Brussels, 12 April 2016 - ENPA, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association, has elected as new President Carlo Perrone at its General Assembly which took place today in Brussels. ENPA President Carlo Perrone is the Vice President of Italiana Editrice S.p.A. (ITEDI) (La Stampa & Il Secolo XIX) and has been Vice President of ENPA since 2010.
Brussels 7 April 2016 - EUROPEAN PRESS PUBLISHERS WELCOME THE COMMISSION'S PLANS ON VAT FOR THE DIGITAL PRESS
European newspaper and magazine publishers welcome today's announcement by Commissioner Moscovici of a specific proposal coming up this year to reduce VAT rates for e-publications, along with what was announced by President Juncker in May 2015. ENPA and EMMA welcome that the Action plan recognises that the current rules do not fully take into account technological and economic developments as e.g. electronic newspapers currently cannot benefit from reduced rates available for physical publications. The action plan announces that this issue will be addressed in the context of the Digital Single Market strategy.
Europe’s leading Newspaper and Magazine Publishers’ Associations EMMA, ENPA, EPC and NME welcome the European Commission’s launch today, 23 March, of a public consultation “on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain”. This consultation is an important step at a time when the role and the value of the press needs more than ever to be recognized in a global digital and media environment.
Provisional agreement reached on the Trade Secrets Directive: Journalists and Media associations acknowledge improvements to the original draft Brussels, 18 December 2015 - An agreement was reached on Tuesday 15 December between the European Parliament and the Council on the controversial draft Trade Secrets Directive. After intense debates, the final text improve the legal certainty as regards the exception for exercising the right to freedom of expression and information but journalists and media associations will remain vigilant.
European Press Publishers remain cautious with regard to the application of the future Data Protection Regulation Brussels, 17 December 2015 – Following today’s vote in the European Parliament committee for Civil Liberties (LIBE), press publishers in Europe, represented by ENPA and EMMA, underline main priorities as regards the GDPR.
Brussels, 9th December 2015 – Members of the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) have reached an agreement about the future of the association, in light of differing views about the organisational structures of the representation of publishers in Brussels. Under the terms of this agreement, a number of countries/regions will be leaving ENPA to form their own organisation, ‘News Media Europe’ at the start of 2016. ENPA will continue its advocacy work as before.
Brussels 15th June 2015 – European organisations representing newspaper and magazine publishers have raised the alarm over the potential impact on media freedom of a draft new law on Trade Secrets. The draft EU Directive on Trade Secrets is scheduled to be voted in the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament tomorrow, based on a report by Constance Le Grip (EPP, France.)
7 th May 2015, Brussels - ENPA, the association representing newspapers and news media in Europe, welcomes the announcement of the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, regarding a future EU proposal to reduce VAT on digital press.
European Press Publishers welcome the Commission’s decision to take action in Google anti-trust case, Brussels, 15th April 2015 – European Press publishers welcomed today’s decision by the European Commission to take action in the ongoing EU anti-trust investigation into Google’s business conduct.
Newspaper and magazine publishers react to Court of Justice of the European Union decision regarding VAT applied to e-books, Brussels, 6th March 2015 – 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.
European newspaper and news media publishers raise serious concerns over allegations of state abuse of power against the press in Bulgaria Brussels, 29 th January 2015 - The Union of Publishers in Bulgaria (UBP) has brought to ENPA’s attention a potential abuse of power by the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) in Bulgaria, which has invoked legislation against market manipulation to impose heavy fines on the Economedia publishing house, and on the small regional press publishing and media company, Alpiko Publishing. In addition to the fines imposed on Economedia totaling BGN 160,000 (approx. EUR 82,000) and Alpiko Publishing amounting to BGN 100,000 (approx. EUR 50,000), the FSC has also started sanction proceedings against two other media outlets, Bivol website and Mediapool.bg.
European Journalists and Press Publishers urge the Justice Council to maintain current safeguards for Press Freedom in Europe Brussels, 10 October 2014 – Following the Council’s orientation debate on the draft General Data Protection (GDPR) Regulation, journalists and press publishers in Europe urge Member States to prevent any weakening of press freedom and give their full support without delay to a robust, directly applicable and legally binding exemption for journalistic data processing in Article 80 of the GDPR.
ENPA launches 10 Action Points for a free, independent and sustainable press sector in Europe. Lord Black of Brentwood, Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group (UK) addresses Members of the new European Parliament in Brussels. Brussels, 30th September 2014 – ENPA, the association representing publishers of newspapers and news media in Europe, today launched “10 Action Points for a free, independent and sustainable press sector in Europe”, for the new mandate of the European institutions from 2014-19. The “10 Action Points”, ranging from freedom of the press to copyright, data protection and competition in the digital market place, were presented at ENPA’s Tête à Tête with the Press at the Sofitel Hotel in Brussels, during the news media sector’s first formal encounter with the new European Parliament.
European Press Publishers urge the Commission to stop Google´s abusive promotion of its own services and restore competition to the digital economy - Publishers and their trade associations call for rejection of a flawed deal and to enforce EU competition law properly to the benefit of consumers, publishers and businesses (European Commission’s Competition Investigation of GOOGLE – AT.39.740)
Brussels, 4 September 2014– Newspaper and magazine publishers across Europe have called on the European Commission to reject the third set of commitments by Google in the ongoing anti-trust investigation.
European press publishers reject the suggestion of the Commission-appointedHigh Level Group on Taxation concerning VAT on print and digital press. Brussels, 4th June 2014 – 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.
Journalists and publishers in Europe warn of the threat to press freedom following European Parliament vote on draft Data Protection Regulation - Rapporteur’s statement that “nothing will change for journalists” is strongly refuted Brussels, 12 March 2014 – A coalition of European organisations representing the interests of both journalists and press publishers  today criticised the vote in the European Parliament on the draft EU General Data Protection Regulation, which jeopardises press freedom and fails to properly protect journalistic sources. They vehemently refute claims from the author of the Parliament’s report, MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, that “nothing will change for journalists” following the vote.
Joint statement ahead of European Parliament Data Protection vote - Call by newspaper and magazine publishers across Europe to safeguard press freedom and journalism under Article 80
Brussels, 11 March 2014 - EMMA, the European Magazine Media Association, and ENPA, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association are concerned that the European Parliament’s plenary is now set to approve the approach taken by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties (LIBE) Committee on the draft EU Regulation on Data Protection, which will seriously undermine press freedom and journalism.
Press publishers in Europe fully support the call from the German and French Culture Ministers for immediate action to lower VAT on digital press. Brussels, 21th February 2014 - Following the announcement made by Mrs Monika Grütters, the German Culture Minister, and Mrs Aurélie Filippetti, the French Culture Minister, on 19th February 2014, press publishers in Europe join this call to the Member States and to the EU institutions to take immediate action allowing the reduction of VAT rates on digital press.
Brussels, 11 February 2014--A controversial draft EU Regulation designed to restore confidence in financial benchmarks following the LIBOR and EURIBOR scandals is set to undermine press freedom and journalists’ right to protect their sources, if MEPs fail to adopt important amendments to the proposal on 17th February.
Google’s abusive self-preference must end to ensure a thriving free and independent press on digital platforms European press publishers react to news of latest commitment proposal by Google in EU anti-trust case. Brussels, 5th February 2014 – Reacting to European Commission Vice-President Joaquín Almunia’s announcement today, European press publishers are greatly concerned that the Commission appears to be moving quickly towards a settlement in the Google anti-trust case, despite lack of evidence that the latest proposals from the company will end its abuse of dominant position in the digital market.
Google’s abusive dominant position must be countered by fair competition if Europe’s free press and creative content sector are to thrive: Europe’s publishers react against reported Commission settlement with Google Brussels, 31 January 2014 – A coalition of European newspapers and magazines’ publishers is greatly concerned to learn from recent press coverage that, in the face of all the evidence of continued market abuse, European Competition Commissioner Almunia is set to settle the anti-trust case with Google without further consultation on or market testing of Google’s proposed commitments to stop its anti-competitive practices.
Press Publishers in Europe applaud the French Government´s decision to apply the same VAT rate for printed and digital press
Brussels, 22 January 2014 - 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.