Quality journalism is of vital importance to healthy democracies – and cartoonists play a crucial role in this system of checks and balances. Their creations are the hallmark of an open society: often just a single image, they hold up a mirror, make change negotiable and induce public debate.

Cartoons are an important part of an open debate, of questioning both old ideas and introducing new ones. Yet, more than any other form of journalism, cartoons are feeling the strain of the shrinking space for freedom of expression.

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. Studio Europa Maastricht and the European Press Prize aim to award courage and quality in the field of cartooning and foster conversation on the topic of Europe.

To encourage cartoonists to continue their essential task, we have launched the European Cartoon Award, worth €10,000.


Any cartoonist that operates in or is from any of the 47 countries of the Council of Europe is eligible to compete in the European Cartoon Award.

The cartoons need to be accompanied by a description in English (250 words maximum), explaining the theme of the cartoon(s), together with an assessment of its impact and reception. If you need assistance with writing this in English, please reach out to us at info[at]europeanpressprize.com.


During the entry period for the European Cartoon Award, a button will become available on our website that brings you to our cartoon entry form. Please submit your cartoon(s) here and fill out the form.

The entry period for the 2021 edition is: May 6 to June 18.


Cartoonists can send in a maximum of three cartoons, either entered separately or in one entry if they are part of a series.

Submitted cartoons must have been realized between 1 January and 31 December 2020 and published in European online and offline media.


Entries should be submitted digitally by completing the form on this website. Only complete forms can be entered. Cartoons must be submitted in JPEG format.

Applicants are required to upload images with a resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels minimum.

If your caption is in any other language than English, please submit an English translation of the caption as well.

Judging procedure

After the entries have come in, they will be assessed and sifted through by the Laureates Jury and the Panel of Judges, consulting widely. The two juries, the Laureates one composed by 5 nominees of the last edition, and the latter composed by the winner of the last year’s edition together with four expert journalists, cartoonists, or activist, will vote on cartoons and select a shortlist from which the Panel of Judges will select the winner.

The juries’ choices and the resulting shortlist will be published on the European Press Prize website.

The Panel of Judges makes the final selection for the winner.

The following rules ensure a fair judging process:

(I) Jury members cannot enter the contest in the year they are judging.

(II) Each jury member, whether an ordinary member or chair, has one equal vote.

(III) Judges cannot abstain from voting at any stage of the judging process.

(IV) All proceedings and deliberations of each jury are conducted in confidence.

(V) All entries are coded, with identifying information removed from the text so the work is judged anonymously. At no stage of the process – and in no discussion either in or outside the judging rooms – should jury members speculate on, or reveal, any names of participating journalists, newsrooms or publications.

(VI) If the jury members recognise they are personally involved in submitted work, through either a personal or professional relationship, they must declare their interest openly at the beginning of any discussions on the work.

(VII) The judges must select a winner and a runner-up. The award ceremony of the second edition will take place in September 2021.


After the Panel of Judges chooses the first preliminary shortlist, cartoonists can be contacted for additional material.

If you have any questions or want to recommend projects you have seen, email us at [email protected]

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