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Drawing Europe

Cartoonists from 28 European newspapers have interpreted the European Community at this moment - in the light of Brexit.

News in English
Læs artiklen senere Gemt (klik for at fjerne) Læst

Politiken has taken the extraordinary step of asking 28 leading newspapers from the (still) 28 EU countries to let one of their cartoonists solve this task: Give us your interpretation of the European Community at this moment — and in the light of Brexit.

Politiken has launched this pan-European media initiative in order to demonstrate the kind of community, solidarity and cooperation that EU leaders find it difficult to maintain and develop at the moment. Politiken’s design editor, Søren Nyeland, has encouraged cartoonists across the continent to contribute to this collective work, which is now being published all over Europe.

A special print edition will be distributed in Brussels and at the summit in Bratislava where EU leaders are set to discuss the future of the union on September 16th.


As a newspaper, one our most important duties is to cover, put into perspective and analyze the political agenda and situation.


But at Politiken we are also creating culture, and it is our hope that the contributions from the 28 cartoonists will add some of the humour and enthusiasm that are also required to develop a European cooperation which a growing number of Europeans are currently turning their back on.

We need humour and enthusiasm at a time when narratives of decline about the EU abound, and when nationalism, populism and xenophobia are subverting the dream of a common and peaceful Europe.

We hope that this newspaper project will make evident that, after all, the old continent has more potential to unite us than to divide

Happy reading!

Christian Jensen, editor-in-chief, Politiken



Cartoonist: Ricardo & Julio Rey.

»We had this idea of doing something with the English lion. Proud and majestic. It seemed that the lion had been misled by irresponsible politicians and lured into voting about something they did not know the nature of«, said Ricardo Ortega.

He is part of the cartoonist duo Ricardo and Julio Rey that created El Mundo's contribution.

»They got caught on the way to this so-called independence. But the British are greater than their politicians«.

El Mundo is the second largest newspaper in Spain. In its editorials, it argues for increased European integration. El Mundo defines itself as a liberal-conservative newspaper.


Newspaper: SME. Cartoonist: Mandor.

»Literally, the time was my inspiration. I was sketching ideas on Brexit cartoons, and checked the time. I have a Monty Python’s ’Ministry of Silly Walks’-styled clock on the wall. Immediately, this picture appeared in my head«, said Mandor.

SME is one of the most read newspapers in Slovakia. Its editorial stance is liberal-conservative.


Newspaper: Het Nieuwsblad. Cartoonist: Marec.

»I envisioned that the EU was losing Queen Elizabeth and replacing her with the European Queen Angela. She is a strong symbol of the Europe that now has to move on after Brexit«, said Marec.

»Wir schaffen das – we can make it. That is really a strong mantra for the future of Europe«.

Het Nieuwsblad defines itself as a Christian-democratic, conservative newspaper with a generally positive view of the EU.


Newspaper: Vecer. Cartoonist: Ciril Horjak.

»I read the story about Icarus to my son the night that the British went to the polls. As the results came in, it struck me that the story of Icarus is the story of Europe. We are trying to touch the stars, but then we lose our upward momentum and fail to reach our goal«, said Ciril Horjak.

»But my cartoon is also intended to show that we still have many countries working together. We must strengthen Europe, because it creates so many good things. Our problems are best solved in cooperation, and that is why it becomes dangerous when our wings are coming apart. We have to tread carefully«.

Vecer is the fourth largest newspaper in Slovenia. It does not define its editorial stance in terms of right-wing or left-wing politics.


Newspaper: Expresso. Cartoonist: Christiano Salgado.

»One fears the hatred in Europe. Tensions are everywhere – when it comes to refugees, the economy, and the very idea of European cooperation«, said Christiano Salgado.»I see us slowly shutting ourselves off. We are building borders at a time when we should stand united. The idea of a borderless and open Europe is under threat«.

Expresso is one of the largest newspapers in Portugal. Expresso is noted for its independent and investigative journalism, which is often critical of the EU system. Its editorial stance is predominantly liberal and pro-European.


Newspaper: 24sata. Cartoonist: Nik Titanik.

»I come from a small country, and for us it can seem dramatic when the big countries pull away. And I wanted to poke fun at the British hypocrisy«, said Nik Titanik.

He said that his cartoon for the Croatian newspaper 24sata depicts the schizophrenic British approach to the EU.

»They want to be independent, but they still want all the benefits from the EU. But they hate the EU! I do not get it. They are saying, ’Hey, let us keep up our cooperation’. But they are also saying, ’F... off, we are done with you’. That is strange behaviour«.

24sata, a relatively new newspaper, has the third-largest readership in Croatia. 24sata targets younger readers and avoids ideological side-taking in the national and European debate.


Newspaper: Postimees. Cartoonist: Urmas Nemvalts.

»The ominous result of the referendum has already divided the United Kingdom. For a moment, I imagined the European Union vis-a-vis the freedom-loving British lion«, said Urmas Nemvalts.

»It may turn out that this ’liberation’ will not be as neat and happy as the British had hoped for«.

Postimees is Estonia's largest newspaper and the most read publication in the Baltic countries. The newspaper maintains a neutral editorial stance.


Newssite: Delfi.lt. Cartoonist: Rimas Pocius.

»We decided to focus on immigration, which is one of the main issues under discussion here in Lithuania. Many Lithuanians and other Europeans migrate to the UK«, said Rimas Pocius.

»This leaves us with questions on how Brexit will impact those people. Not only plumbers and builders are going to the UK. We are also talking about wealthy tourists, winemakers, chefs, and artists«.

Delfi is one of the largest online news sites, not only in Lithuania, but also in the other Baltic countries. Delfi is officially independent of political parties.


Newspaper: Luxemburger Wort. Cartoonist: Florin Balaban.

»To me, this was madness. Brexit could not happen. That is what I thought, at least. We live in a world where we should be moving closer to each other, but then the opposite happens«, said Florin Balaban.

»I wanted to show the humiliation. The humiliation of succeeding in forcing a ’leave’ by lying to the population. They do not have a project to replace the European Union. Nobody knows what to do. Should we laugh or should we cry?«

Luxemburger Wort is the largest newspaper in Luxembourg. The newspaper is catholic-conservative and strongly pro-European.


Newspaper: Volkskrant. Cartoonist: Bas van der Schot.

»To me, Europe is an abstract ideal. And group photos of the European politicians after another crisis summit are the visual representations of Europe nowadays«, said Bas van der Schot.

»I thought to combine it with classical European culture. I am wondering what is left of the European pillars«.

De Volksrant is one of the leading newspapers in the Netherlands. It is often critical of EU bureaucracy, and the editorial stance is centre-left.


Newspaper: Reflex. Cartoonist: Štepán Mareš.

»From time to time, there are some dissonances in the relationship between two people. Therefore it is logical that there are some in the relationship between 28 countries, too«, said Štepán Mareš.

»The fire spreads – as do doubts about the European idea after the Brexit vote. Germany will always be one of the leaders of Europe, because of its size and economic power. Smaller countries like us can envy it, disagree with that – but that is probably all we can do. Germany, as one of the leaders, naturally tries to extinguish the fire. Unfortunately, it is probably also sometimes extinguishing those unwillingly started by itself«.

Reflex is the most read weekly magazine in the Czech Republic. It is known for its critical journalism and has a conservative editorial line.


Newspaper: Times of Malta. Cartoonist: Sebastian Tanti Burlò.

»Europe is fat, she is not the beauty she once was. Her people have become lethargic and apathetic, resembling sausages more than the people they were. They are distant from the ideal of a united Europe, the result of years of alienation and bureaucracy«, said Sebastian Tanti Burlò.

»Brexit is a shining example of this public alienation. The British people were conned and the European people have no idea what is going to happen. The unknown creates fear – this fear strengthens nationalism for we will run to the familiar rather than turn to the unknown«.

The Times of Malta is the oldest and most read newspaper in Malta. Although known for its stinging editorials, the newspaper is independent of political parties and ideologies, including in questions concerning the EU.


Newspaper: Ilsole24ore. Cartoonist: Maria Corté.

»In the image, the abstract idea of a city in the dark which, only through the awakening of its citizens’ consciousness, of their homes’ lights through the windows, is capable of projecting an image of unity and singularity and, in this way, defining a common project«, said Maria Corté.

»It is in moments of disorientation and institutional anxiety that these citizens, more so than those who represent them, have the strength to preserve the project and take it forward«.

Ilsole24ore is the fourth largest newspaper in Italy. It defines itself as a liberal newspaper.



Newspaper: Die Zeit. Cartoonist: Jochen Schievink.

»The illustration was made under the impression that more and more countries are trying to fillet the EU into pieces to get the best parts out of it – even if they risk to kill the whole thing«, said Jochen Schievink.

Die Zeit is one of Germany’s largest newspapers. Over the years, Die Zeit has moved from a liberal-conservative stance to its present social-liberal and largely pro-European focus.


Newspaper: Le Monde. Cartoonist: Plantu

»Despite our respective rulers’ specific problems, I wanted to draw Princess Europe with the traits of the woman of our dreams«, said Plantu.

»The mistakes of the 28 will not prevent me from having a true desire for Europe«.

Le Monde, one of the largest newspaper in France, is Swidely respected around the world. Le Monde is pro-EU, with a centre-left editorial stance.



Newspaper: Politiken. Cartoonist: Philip Ytournel.

»We are all in this together. And it seems foolish to isolate oneself. This is not just about the UK. I am criticizing isolationism as such«, said Philip Ytournel.

»We do not have to be great friends all the time. It may be a human trait to hide behind walls. We just have to remember that the guys on the other side of the wall have something valuable to offer, too. Are we moving towards a Fortress Europe? I don’t know. Nor do I know if it is a good thing or a bad thing. Things are not just black and white as they are in my cartoon«.


Artiklen fortsætter efter annoncen


Politiken is Denmark’s largest newspaper. Founded it 1884, it continues to play an important role in shaping the national debate. Politiken is based on social-liberal values and has a generally positive view on the EU.


Newspaper: Népszabadság. Cartoonist: Marabu.

»I know the world is not perfect, I see many problems to draw about, but one must see the good things, too. I am happy when I can draw optimistic cartoons – at least once in a while«, said Marabu.

»Nowadays they talk too much about the problems of the European Union – and drawing angry cartoons on troubles is a simple job. I think it is a very important mission to make optimistic cartoons«.

Népszabadság’s editorial stance is social-liberal and pro-European. It is one of Hungary’s largest newspapers.


Newspaper: The Irish Times. Cartoonist: Martyn Turner.

»The future of Europe ... well it will, of course, be riven with misunderstanding and confusion. Take my cartoon, for example. They ain’t sheep. They’re lemmings, creatures who mythically commit suicide from time to time by jumping off a cliff«, said Martyn Turner.

»Someone else who thought they were sheep was the chief panjandrum of the Ukip Leave campaign. He asked if they could reprint the cartoon on some of their campaign literature. It suited him to think that being opposed to austerity naturally made you opposed to Europe. He was wrong on that score, as he is pretty much wrong on every other score«.

The Irish Times is one of Ireland’s largest newspapers. It has a social-liberal profile.


Newspaper: Helsingin Sanomat. Cartoonist: Ville Tietäväinen.

»I wanted to show a European wholeness that is recognisable, but clearly inoperative because it is a cubist jumble«, said Ville Tietäväinen. »I decided to use a classical European instrument – but one that cannot be played. The violin represents the most classical European tradition of playing together. The chin rest is detached from the instrument so as to resemble Great Britain«.

Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest newspaper, is strongly pro-EU. Officially, it is neutral in terms of ideology, but historically the newspaper has been known for its social-conservative profile.


Newspaper: Kurier. Cartoonist: Michael Pammesberger.

»The cartoon originated from the Brexit party. David, Boris and Nigel had all had too much to drink. Rock’n’roll! ...And then things got a bit out of control. The band was playing, 'The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in ... engines stop running ... but I have no fear, ’cause London is drowning'. Then Joe Strummer smashed his guitar and everything got destroyed«, said Michael Pammesberger.

This is how Michael Pammesberger describes his cartoon for the Austrian newspaper Kurier. »The next day they woke up with a headache. It was a huge ’Clash’, and I could not help thinking about this album cover. Clash means Clash«.

Kurier is one of Austria’s leading newspapers. It often plays a crucial role in the national debate with its centre-left and pro-European comments.


Newspaper: Capital. Cartoonist: Yavor Popov.

»When the core of Europe sinks into uncertainty, there is no way this will not affect the periphery. And this is only a small part of the problem. The result of the referendum changes everything. Political, economic, diplomatic relations, built with lots of efforts for 43 years, will now have to be unraveled in the most complicated and expensive divorce in the world«, said the Bulgarian newspaper Capital in a statement on its cartoon contribution.

»The success of superficial politics in Britain could ignite a dangerous chain reaction throughout the Union, leading other countries to exit. Even if it does not, the union towards which Bulgaria strived so much, will change irrevocably«.

Capital is one of Bulgaria’s leading newspapers. From a centre-right point of view, it focuses on political and financial news.


Newspaper: Polska Press Grupa. Cartoonist: Tomek Bochenski.

»Brexit – a word we had not expected to hear ... But once it was heard, I began to ask myself which country would be the next to hold a referendum on leaving the European Union«, said Tomek Bochenski.

»This invisible hand of Brexit may lead to the ’erasing’ of still more countries from the EU structures. After the British decision, it will take us a long time to ’clean’ our EU yard, which will never look the same again«.

Polska Press Grupa, one of Poland’s largest media corporations, publishes 18 newspapers and magazines.


Newspaper: Ziarul de Lasi. Cartoonist: Jup (Lucian Amarii).

»Some of the Brexit politicians act now like they know exactly what they are doing, but in reality they are confused and don’t know what they should do next. I also think that there will be a fair amount of chaos in the ’UK leaving the EU’ process«, said Lucian ‘Jup’ Amarii.

»So it’s like walking towards a door, but without having full control of your speed or direction!«.

Ziarul de Lasi is one of the largest local newspapers in Romania. It does not have a fixed editorial stance.


Newspaper: Dagens Nyheter. Cartoonist: Magnus Bard.

»I found it difficult to get started on this task. It is a complex relationship. It is a warning to the European establishment, but it is also a roar from a struggling United Kingdom«, said Magnus Bard.

»The United Kingdom is not strong and mighty anymore. Being on its own only makes it worse. The British self-image is one of a reborn Nelson at Trafalgar. And now they are left to fight the giants on their own. Maybe it is make-believe, who knows?«.

Dagen Nyheter is the largest newspaper in Sweden. It is known for its incisive editorials and strong opinions section. Dagens Nyhetersees itself as an independent newspaper based on Nordic liberal values.


Newspaper: Diena.Cartoonist: Zemgus Zaharans.

»Before the euro was introduced in Latvia, we also had a high-value currency, like the British. A full-bodied currency«, said Zemgus Zaharans, a cartoonist with the Latvian newspaper Diena.

»I saw the British decision to take the road to Brexit – which is a dead-end – as a sign that the British pound is likely to lose some weight«, he said.

Diena is a mid-sized Latvian newspaper with no fixed editorial stance.


Newspaper: Politis.Cartoonist: Thanasis Papaspyropoulos.

Artiklen fortsætter efter annoncen


»I see Europe as it should be and Europe as it is. Blind, apprehensive, and reactionary. We create Europe. We decide which way to go«, said Thanasis Papaspyropoulos.

»We need to go back to the roots of the original European project. It was beautiful and simple, but also fragile. That is what I want to show. We are responsible for the current situation, and it is our responsibility not to let ourselves be dragged to bottom by fear and ignorance«.

Politis is the second largest newspaper in Cyprus. It is a centre-right leaning newspaper that is independent of political parties.


Newspaper: Kathimerini. Cartoonist: Ilias Delloglou.

»At a time marked by intense globalization, the United Kingdom decided to leave the EU for financial reasons«, said Delloglou.

»The British voters’ decision to leave the EU was also an expression of their wish to punish the EU. It reminded me of the joke about the man who cuts off his own penis to punish his wife«.

Kathimerini is one of Greece’s leading newspapers. The editorial stance is centre-right, but it is independent of political parties.


Newspaper: The Guardian. Cartoonist: Noma Bar.

»I was convinced that Brexit would not happen. With this illustration I tried to convey the immediate feeling that many people were left with once the result was clear«, said Noma Bar.

»A feeling of powerlessness, no big fuss. You should not underestimate how many Brits are deeply sad that we now have to learn how to make it on our own. And there is nobody to blame but ourselves. No bluster, just sorrow«.

Internationally renowned, The Guardian is the third largest newspaper in the UK. Its editorial stance is centre-left and it has a reputation of being ’an organ of the middle class’. The Guardian supported the Remain campaign in connection with the British referendum.


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