The President of the Republic, during his meeting with representatives of the political and general press on 17 December, expressed his commitment to the principle of fiscal neutrality between media, whether printed or digital. He recalled that discussions were continuing with the European Commission to allow the digital press as a whole to benefit from a reduced rate, whereas Community law now imposes the application of the full rate of VAT. The latter is currently at 19.6% and at 20% from 1er january 2014.
This position of principle is consistent with that defended by France, before the Community authorities, in the area of e-books. The evolution of the German position, which is now committed in its government pact to support at European level the reduced VAT for e-books and digital media, opens up new perspectives. This is an essential battle that France and Germany can now fight together for the independence of the European press, its pluralism and modernization.
Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communication, Bernard Cazeneuve, Deputy Minister for the Budget and Fleur Pellerin, Deputy Minister for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy, are working on a strong initiative for the beginning of 2014, intended to guarantee the long-term tax neutrality between print and digital presses. The three ministers will invite the representatives of the press concerned, in January, in the presence of French and European parliamentarians interested in these issues, to clarify the political and legislative deadlines of this strong mobilization.