The European Caricade

60 Years of European Caricature

Der Lauscher an der Wand (The Walls Have Ears). Picture credit: Kostas Koufogiorges, 2013

It has been sixty years since the Treaties of Rome were signed. The idea of Europe, which led the young postwar generation to exuberantly cut down barriers at the German-French border long before Schengen, has lost its glamor. Much of the European fervor of that era has been sacrificed in recent decades on the altar of economic interests, national egotism and Brussels bureaucracy.

Sixty years ago, the Benelux nations, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and Italy had one shared aspiration in particular, apart from collaborating in the steel and coal industry: Europe must never suffer war again. Today, nationalist populism in many EU Member States stands in the way of unifying the continent. The main cause that moved the founding fathers of the European Community has often been forgotten. Altiero Spinelli, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, not to mention Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer, would certainly have had little understanding for the European wrangling of today.

Despite all the euro crises, Brexit, resurgent nationalism, differences about refugee quotas and reactionary populism, the unification of Europe will be irreversible so long as it serves not just the interests of banks and large corporations, but the needs of the citizens of Europe themselves.

The European Caricade is intended to revive the sense of fun and whimsy about Europe in this European year of 2017. We believe the medium of caricature is especially well suited for the purpose. Caricatures unerringly make points that elude many a long-winded editorial. Unabashedly unbalanced and impudent, critical, ironic and satirical, but always with wit and humor, caricaturists from many EU countries have been tracking the stone-strewn path to a united Europe. From 1957 to today, they have skewered the highs and lows of the European unification process with a sharp pen.


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