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European Publishers Council

  July 2004
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  Francisco Balsemão
  Chairman, EPC
  Chairman and CEO,
  Impresa S.G.P.S.
  Rua Ribeiro Sanches 65
  1200 Lisboa
  Tel: +351 21 392 9782
  Fax: +351 21 392 9788

  Angela Mills Wade
  Executive Director
  c/o Europe Analytica
  26 Avenue Livingstone
  Bte 3
  B-1000 Brussels
  Tel: +322 231 1299

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  Tel:  +44 1245 476 265


The European Publishers’ Council (EPC) is a high level group of Chairmen and CEOs of leading European media corporations actively involved in multimedia markets spanning newspaper, magazine, Internet and on-line database publishing. Many EPC members also have significant interests in private television and radio. A list of our members is attached.

We believe that Value Added Tax (VAT) levied on the printed word is a tax on information, opinion, education and literacy – all of which are too important to be handicapped by taxation.

The European Publishers Council therefore calls upon the Government of Romania to propose some radical amendments to the Romanian value added tax regime in order to

  • promote the freedom of information through the printed press
  • promote economic sectors which are vital to the future economic strength of the country
  • adopt measures which help in the fight to reduce levels of illiteracy
  • safeguard the cultural diversity of the country and
  • promote the development of the knowledge society.

These concerns lie at the heart of a healthy democratic society.

We would like to propose to you a radical, economically sensible and adroit solution:

  • Those goods and services, which promote literacy and the successful development of the new information society, should be taxed in the same way as public services at zero. The reason is to promote economic strength by ensuring a well-educated and literate society and work force.

These economic benefits from a more literate work force will more than outweigh any short-term loss of income from value added tax. The economic burden of unemployment will always be far greater.

This is a crucial moment to implement far reaching and radical reform of the VAT tax system. Please support zero rating for the printed word – newspapers, magazines and books + informational and educational new multi media products and services.


Mr. Francisco Pinto Balsemão

Chairman, European Publishers Council