News Media Europe


Position papers , June 22, 2016

News Media Europe (NME) is the organisation representing and promoting the interests of the modern European news media industry.

NME welcomes the recent developments and initiatives from the European Commission and the Council regarding lower VAT rates for the digital press. NME strongly believes that there should be no difference in VAT rate between digital news content and newsprint. NME calls on the EU institutions to keep the pace and on all Member States to give their unconditional support for this change.

Europeans are hungry for news that is reliable, professionally produced, and served both on conventional and digital platforms – mobile devices, apps, print, tablets, desktops, television and radio.

Publishing is also a business – with a strong and proud tradition based on creative content – which increasingly relies on the use of modern-day platforms to remain sustainable.

Our industry innovates and invests in services, products, technology and content which underpin quality journalism in the digital economy. Our products remain, as they always have, a corner stone in any democracy.

Under the Sixth VAT Directive, Member States can apply zero, super reduced and reduced VAT rates to printed newspapers and periodicals, but have to apply the standard VAT rate to their digital products.

However, this does not reflect today’s situation and needs. The European news media industry is a modern industry that offers European citizens news and experiences on all platforms and channels, both online and offline. Therefore, NME strongly believes that there should be no difference in VAT rate between digital news content and newsprint.

This will this strengthen the European Digital Single Market and encourage publishers’ investments in digital offers. Additionally, by applying the equal rates for print and digital news products, today’s administrative burden on the publishing houses – which have to apply different VAT rates depending on the formats – will also be reduced.

This will give recognition to the role of the democratic press, both online and offline, at a time where it is more needed than ever.

For more information, get in touch with:
Per Hultengård (Chair of NME Digital VAT taskforce):
Francesco Vinci (NME policy advisor):