Studio Europa Maastricht and The European Press Prize are pleased to announce the winner and runners-up of the second edition of the European Cartoon Award. With the cartoon ‘EU and Belarus’, published in the newspaper Trouw, Tom Janssen won the first prize of 10,000 euros. The two runners-up are the Dutch Hajo de Reijger and the Turkish Musa Gumus. The work of both cartoonists was published on the online media platform Cartoon Movement.

For this year’s edition, 287 entries were submitted by cartoonists from 28 different countries. The winning cartoons were selected by a jury of award-winning cartoonists, nominees from last year’s edition, activists and experts.

To introduce to you the winner Tom Janssen we created a video teaching us about the magic of cartoons. Watch it on the website of the European Cartoon Award.

“‘EU and Belarus” – Tom Janssen


“Editorial Cartoonists have shown us again how they make powerful political commentaries with their drawings. 2020 was the year of the pandemic in Europe, and our shortlist selection and our prize-winner inevitably reflect much of the worldwide economic, social and political debates. But in our other top choices, we wanted as a jury to also reflect on the huge political story taking place in Belarus, and the political reality of how Europe engages with what is just over its borders, and to highlight the importance of the freedom of the media and the violent threats the press faces.”

Janet Anderson, chair of the Panel of judges

The jury of the European Cartoon award 2021 was composed of: Anne Derenne (2020 winner), Janet Anderson, Khalid Albahi, Gian-Paolo Accardo, Paulo Jorge Fernandes. And, for the first round of selection, a jury composed of five previous year’s nominees: Mette Dreyer, Claudio Antonio Gomes, Costel Patrascan, Halit Kurtulmuş, and Tomás Serrano.

Sixteen nominated cartoons 

After 2 rounds of evaluation, the two juries identified a batch of 16 cartoons that qualified for the final selection. Here is the list of the 14 nominees the cartoons belong to: 

Vitor Neves – Portugal 
Vasco Gargalo – Portugal
André Carrilho – Portugal 
Pedro Silva – Portugal
Niels Bo Bojesen – Denmark
Musa Gumus – Turkey
Marco De Angelis – Italy 
Hajo de Reijger – The Netherlands
Tom Janssen – The Netherlands
Tjeerd Royaards – The Netherlands
Saeed Sadeghi – Turkey
DINO – Konstantinos Tsanakas – Greece
Osama Hajjaj – Jordan 
Tchavdar Nikolov – Bulgaria

Below are the cartoons of the two Runners-up, Hajo de Reijger, with “It’s Chinese!” and Musa Gumus, with “Blood”.

“It’s Chinese!” – Hajo de Reijger
“Blood” – Musa Gumus

About the European Cartoon Award

The European Cartoon Award was founded by the European Press Prize and Studio Europa Maastricht in 2019 – the year in which the New York Times decided to stop running editorial cartoons altogether. Both organisations aim to award courage and quality in the field of cartooning, encouraging cartoonists to continue their essential task, crucial for a healthy democratic society – both within and outside Europe.

The Librexpression centre has recently joined the ECA as publishing partner.

A word from the organisers

“In these unprecedented times of polarization, there is more and more a lack of understanding for the perspective of the other and a well-founded critical sound. The power of political cartoons is to offer an opening to the truth of the other with irony, humor and sharpness.”

Gonny Willems, director of Studio Europa Maastricht

“Cartoonists are an ‘endangered species’: they increasingly face resistance, threats, and sometimes even censorship. Their space is becoming more and more restricted, both in literal ‘airtime’ and in the themes they address. That also applies to cartoonists here in Europe.”

Thomas van Neerbos, director of the European Press Prize

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