Books are essential to the development and circulation of knowledge and culture. They play a decisive role in promoting cultural diversity, one of Europe’s greatest assets, and strengthen the sense of European citizenship. The promotion of reading and literature must be at the heart of our cultural policies.

The digital age offers immense opportunities for the future of books and literature, especially to encourage reading among younger people. Supporting innovation in the book industry is the only way to meet the evolving expectations of readers and creators.

Whether it is printed or dematerialized, it is the content that makes the book and not the way in which the reader has access to it. A book is a book in any form.

For these reasons, we are convinced of the need to apply the same reduced rate of VAT to both e-books and printed books. The principle of technological neutrality must be clearly stated at European level so that innovation and the development of e-books are not compromised.

We ask the European Commission to propose without delay an evolution of the European legislation in order to allow the application of reduced VAT rates for all books whether they are material or paperless.

In a context where the European Commission is about to unveil its strategy for a digital single market, Europe must rely on digital resources to encourage access to knowledge and culture and the promotion of cultural diversity. We strongly maintain that the inclusion of this development in the European strategy will make it possible to put an end to unjustified discrimination against e-books.