Following the publication of the European Commission communication on the future of VAT on 6 December 2011, the Minister for Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand, wishes to welcome the position of the European Commission in favour of a fair tax treatment of similar goods and services, whatever their distribution medium, physical or digital.

It welcomes the European Commission’s recommendation that:
'similar goods and services should be subject to the same rate
VAT and technological progress should be taken into account
in this regard, so that the challenge of
ensure convergence between physical and
The Commission recognizes, as does Parliament.
in a resolution adopted on 13 October,
the need to address this crucial issue for the development of
European cultural content services online.

The Minister thanks all the actors involved in this
combat, especially Jacques Toubon, who carried this message in
all of Europe, and the European Commissioners who were able to seize this

A recent jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union
confirms the principle of tax neutrality between several
provision of similar services.

In France, digital books will benefit in particular from a reduced rate
VAT as of January 1, 2012. Indeed, in a
European cultural and creative industries
need a supportive environment to continue to innovate and
remain competitive with other major international players.

Frédéric Mitterrand, in close liaison with the other members of the
Government, will be fully involved in the important work that
European level, which should lead to
Commission legislative proposals.