EU President Juncker: “European Commission will suggest in 2016 reduced VAT for digital press to EU Member States”

At a very fresh and reassuring speech of President Jean-Claude Juncker during last night’s (6 May 2015) BDZV (German newspaper association) event in Brussels he confirmed that the European Commission will suggest in 2016 a reduced VAT rate for the digital press to EU Member States.

Today Member States can apply the reduced VAT rate to the printed press only. Since the current VAT Directive was adopted in 1991 Europe’s media sector has changed substantially. Today Europe’s press publishers are reaching a significant number of their audience through the internet, mobile devices and social media. “This new reality has to be reflected by a forward-looking VAT regime in Europe” said President Jean-Claude Juncker at the BDZV event.

To adopt such a proposal from the European Commission, all 28 EU Member States have to approve it unanimously. EMMA and other publishing associations across Europe have been requesting this “adjustment” for many years, as this is one of the big roadblocks to the development of digital offers of Europe’s press sector into the future. 

In his speech President Juncker also referred to the Digital Single Market strategy published by the European Commission yesterday. In his view one of the important cornerstones for the implementation of this strategy is to safeguard freedom of expression and press freedom, which includes in his understanding the assurance of a free, independent, diverse and vibrant press sector.


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 16 national associations across 13 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.