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EIBF APPLAUDS TRADE UNIONS FOR RALLYING LEADING ADVOCATES AT THE AMAZON SYMPOSIUM

Brussels, 3rd December 2019

On Monday, 2nd December 2019, the European & International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) was delighted to participate in the first-ever “Symposium on Amazon’s unchecked power”. Hosted by UNI Global Union and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the event gathered EU policy-makers, experts and regulators, union leaders, small business representatives and NGOs in Brussels.

At the full-day symposium, a series of panels laid bare the grave consequences of Amazon’s business model and practices for the economies and societies where it is active, particularly by engaging in systematic tax avoidance, compounding the climate crisis and undermining labour rights as well as privacy and digital rights.

During a panel centred around the topic of “Amazon’s monopoly power: threats to a fair marketplace”, booksellers were represented by Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom and Ireland (BA) and EIBF Executive Committee member. Halls summarised the event as follows:

“It was inspiring and energising to take part in the Amazon Symposium in Brussels on 2nd December, with EIBF Director, Julie Belgrado.  We gathered with global group of those interested in the ‘unchecked power of Amazon’, from unions keen to re-establish workers’ rights, to competition specialists, from social justice campaigners to climate justice activists, and we were very proud to represent bookselling in this group.  We outlined the impact of Amazon on bookselling in the UK and across Europe and we were resolute in laying out the colossal impact Amazon has had on the bookselling sector, with its unfair competitive advantages in many tax jurisdictions, its widescale tax avoidance activities and its monopolistic and anti-competitive behaviour – at the same time as flying the flag for the incredible work booksellers across the world are doing to counter the impact of Amazon.  We need concrete global action to alleviate the impact of the monopolistic behaviour and look forward to working with partners to make this happen, in the UK and in the European Union.”

The timing of this event is critical, coinciding with the first formal day in office for the recently confirmed European Commission under President Ursula von der Leyen. EIBF will constructively engage with the EU institutions to ensure that fair competition ranks highly on the EU agenda, and lend its full support to policy responses which seek to put a check on Amazon’s monopolistic behaviour in Europe and further afield.

About EIBF: The European and International Booksellers Federation represents national booksellers associations in the European Union and beyond. EIBF Members in turn have in membership booksellers of all kinds: brick and mortar bookshops, online bookshops, independents, chains.

For further information, please contact:
EIBF Director Julie Belgrado (julie.belgrado@europeanbooksellers.eu or +32 494 67 95 07)

Download EIBF press release

EIBF WELCOMES THE CONFIRMATION OF THE NEW COMMISSION

Brussels 27th November 2019

The European & International Booksellers Federation – EIBF – warmly welcomes the outcome of yesterday’s vote at the European Parliament, confirming the von der Leyen Commission. We wish to congratulate President von der Leyen and the entire college of Commissioners for this success and wish them a fruitful and productive 5-year term.

The European & International Booksellers Federation represents national booksellers associations in the European Union and beyond. Through its member associations, EIBF speaks on behalf of more than 25,000 individual bookshops, whose role in society is essential as places of culture and in supporting learning and literacy.

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FRANCOISE DUBRUILLE WILL BE STEPPING DOWN FROM HER POSITION AS EIBF DIRECTOR ON 18 APRIL 2019, AFTER AN 18-YEAR CAREER WITH EIBF

 Brussels 10th September 2018

Discussing her decision, Fran Dubruille said she has “very much enjoyed” her time with EIBF, but added that this was the right moment to move on and concentrate on other projects.

Fran DubruilleEIBF represents the longest and most important commitment in my career and I’ve had the huge privilege of working within a community of highly committed booksellers and representatives of booksellers associations. I have learned so much from them and made many lifelong friends that I will definitely stay in touch with. I would particularly like to highlight the extraordinary engagement of EIBF Executive Committee Members over the years, led at various stages by Doris Stockmann, the late John Mc Namee and currently Jean-Luc Treutenaere and Fabian Paagman. It would be unfair not to mention our International colleagues from outside of Europe and the constant support we have got from the US, Russia, Australia, to name but a few.

Whilst I am of course extremely sad to leave all my friends in the bookselling industry, this decision has been energizing. Over the last eighteen months, I have been maturing a couple of personal projects which I now need to dedicate more time to”

Jean-Luc Treutenaere, co-President, commented: “It’s been a great pleasure to work with Françoise all these years. She’s not only a perfect specialist in lobbying, but she has always been very close to her staff, and to the 20140930-_DSC6628members of EIBF. Good work and good laughs at the same time. I have learned a lot from her and I will miss her, but I know that she will be beginning her new life with energy, plenty of projects. In the next few months, she will complete the handing on of her knowledge to her colleague, Julie Belgrado, and I’m convinced that EIBF will remain a strong organisation willing and able to promote and defend booksellers’ interests.

20140930-_DSC6619Co-President Fabian Paagman added: “Although we regret Francoise’s decision to leave EIBF, we also have the greatest respect for this new chapter she wishes to write in the story of her professional career. Booksellers in Europe and throughout the international community will miss her dearly, but we are very thankful that Francoise will leave while the organisation is in great shape and has a bright future ahead. We look forward to working on a smooth transition of her work with team member Julie Belgrado in the coming months.”

Julie Belgrado added: “Working with Françoise over the past three years has been a real privilege and aIMG_1418 very enriching experience. From the very beginning, she has focussed on transmitting her passion for the bookselling sector, for booksellers and for defending their interests. Although I am very happy that she is moving on to new challenges, I am also saddened to see an exceptional Director leaving, a great colleague and most importantly, a friend. Taking over from Françoise and walking in her footsteps will be a challenge, which I am ready to take up. I thank the EIBF co-Presidents for putting their trust in me and Françoise for believing in me since the very first day. I will do my best to bring continuity to EIBF, dedicate my time to its members and serve the booksellers’ interests.”

UK SOCIALIST BOOKSHOP ATTACKED BY FAR-RIGHT PROTESTERS: EIBF FULLY SUPPORTS THE BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION OF THE UK & IRELAND STATEMENT

Last Sunday, far-right protesters attacked Bookmarks Bookshop, UK largest socialist bookshop, located in Bloomsbury Street. EIBF deplores that such acts of violence be perpetrated and fully supports the Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland statement:

The Booksellers Association, and booksellers across the UK and Ireland, stand in support of the staff and  managers at Bookmarks Bookshop in central London, which was attacked by a far-right mob on Saturday  evening. Bookshops are, as Philip Pullman memorably put it last year ‘lantern-bearers of civilisation’ and it’s appalling and shocking that this attack has happened now, at a point where we need bookshops, and all they stand for, more than ever.

Bookshops should be safe spaces, and are very often the refuge of the oppressed, the fearful and those looking for guidance at difficult times; they are special places for so many reasons, and should never find themselves on the receiving end of hate-filled, violent outpouring.  They are also the locus for community, and we know that the bookselling community itself has already rallied round Bookmarks on social media, pledging support and expressing outrage at what has happened.  Added to the cowardly attack earlier this year on Gay’s the Word Bookshop, also in central London, these attacks are a worrying sign of growing polarization and intolerance in our society, and we must do all we can to stem it. Bookshops will continue to stand as places for the free exchange of ideas, where all are welcome.”

The bookshop has published a press release on its Facebook page and will be holding a solidarity event in the shop on Saturday 11 August.

Click here to read the BA UK & Ireland press release

Click here to read the Guardian article

JEAN-LUC TREUTENAERE APPOINTED EIBF CO-PRESIDENT FOR A SECOND MANDATE

Brussels, 26 April 2018

20140930-_DSC6628The European and International Booksellers Federation – EIBF – is delighted to announce that its former co-President, Jean-Luc Treutenaere, has been appointed for a second mandate starting as of mid-May.

Jean-Luc Treutenaere initially stepped down from his role of co-President at the end of January 2018.  Due to new circumstances, he has accepted with enthusiasm to keep an active role in EIBF governance and has recently been re-elected as President of the Syndicat des distributeurs de loisirs culturels (SDLC)Read more

Boosting the EU culture budget – A call from Europe’s cultural & creative sectors

The European Commission is currently preparing its proposal for the next MFF (multi-annual financial framework), to be published 2nd May.

Ahead of this publication, creative and cultural sectors have joined forces to ask for an increased EU budget for culture. In a joint letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the 70 signatories urge the EU to give a significant and much-needed boost to the EU’s budget dedicated to culture.

The letter with all the signatories can be downloaded belowRead more

VAT FOR E-COMMERCE: EIBF REJOICES AT TWO POSITIVE STEPS FORWARD

The European & International Booksellers Federation- EIBF – welcomes the decision of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) of 5 December, which unanimously adopted new rules for VAT on e-commerce.

The establishment of a 10.000€ threshold for start-ups and SMEs in yearly cross-border online sale, under which the home country VAT rate will apply, will definitely enable booksellers to offer more (e)books on foreign markets, as this new measure reduces administrative formalities and will ultimately benefit to consumers.

Reducing the number of pieces of evidence to one to identify customers’ location is excellent news for those of the booksellers whose turnover is up to 100.000 € .Read more

GEOBLOCKING: EIBF REJOICES AT THE RESULT OF THE SECOND TRILOGUE

The European and International Booksellers Federation – EIBF – notes with great satisfaction that the negotiations held yesterday between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council (trilogue) about the geo-blocking regulation were positive.

The proposal agreed upon yesterday, and tabled by the Estonian Presidency, leaves copyright-protected material, including e-books, out of the scope of the regulation and proposes a review clause of 2 years.

In practice, due to the entry into force and various steps in the process, this means that the review clause will not kick off before the end of 2020 or the spring 2021.Read more