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Parliamentary questions
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18 December 2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Petra De Sutter
 Subject: Payment by the European institutions of the Belgian reprography levy

Recently, an agreement relating to the years 2019-2022 was concluded between the European institutions, represented by the Commission, on the one hand, and Reprobel on the other hand, on a payment scheme (‘reprography levy’) under Belgian law for the reproduction on paper, by EU staff working in Belgium, of works protected by copyright. However, unlike hitherto, the European institutions are currently refusing to pay the separately instituted statutory levy to compensate publishers for these years, arguing that the payment constitutes an indirect tax, which they are exempt from paying under Article 3(2) of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union.

How does the Commission reconcile its refusal to pay the Belgian levy for publishers with Article 16 of the recent Directive ((EU) 2019/790) on Copyright in the Digital Single Market?

How does the Commission reconcile its refusal to pay the Belgian levy for publishers with the perfectly explicit Paragraph 48 of the judgment of the European Court of Justice in the case of Soulier & Doke (C-301/15)?

How does the Commission explain the historical inconsistency of its position, bearing in mind that this Belgian levy for publishers has existed since 2017 and that the Commission, as well as the other European institutions, paid it without reservation for 2017 and 2018?

Last updated: 14 January 2020Legal notice