European Parliament Strasbourg

This own-initiative report marks the first instance of the European Parliament addressing the needs of the book sector in 10 years

Today 14th September 2023, the European Parliament's plenary session adopted by an overwhelming majority an own-initiative report on the future of the European book sector, which highlights the sector's value in European societies and introduces recommendations to support its growth in the years to come.

As the leading organisation representing the bookselling sector at European and international levels, EIBF has contributed and fed into the content of the report, and has been actively involved in the process to ensure that the priorities and needs of the sector were adequately represented.

The adoption of this report comes at a crucial time, as bookshops are gradually recovering from the difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are still many changes and challenges to face, from increased digitalisation and the undeniable effects of climate change, to a cost of living crisis and growing book censorship. 

Bookselling is not immune to these challenges, and booksellers need to play their part in the digital and green transition. As an innovative and resilient sector, it intends to do so. However, the sector needs the means and support to adapt and thrive in these times, and EIBF welcomes that the report adopted today by the CULT Committee largely supports these calls, for instance, by calling for further educational and professional training opportunities in the book sector, proper enforcement of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to ensure fair competition online, the designation of bookshops as safe and welcoming spaces and the promotion of measures such as culture vouchers, which have proven to be invaluable to the sector while helping introduce new readers to bookshops.

Overall, EIBF is very pleased that the report on the future of the European book sector highlights the essential role of books and the value of the European book sector, advocates for measures that are in the best interest of booksellers and, most importantly, reiterates the European Parliament’s full support for the wider book sector.

Fabian Paagman, EIBF Co-President says “We’re glad to finally see a report from the European Parliament that focuses on the needs of the European book sector and includes measures that can help it continue to thrive. The acknowledgement of European bookshops as cornerstones of local communities and as safe and welcoming spaces is particularly positive. We count on the European Commission and Member States to implement the recommendations laid out in this report”.

EIBF congratulates MEP Tomasz Frankowski (EPP), the lead rapporteur of the file, as well as the shadow rapporteurs and other supportive Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for their engagement, open communication and willingness to support the sector.

You can find our full statement attached.

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