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 Studio Europa Maastricht and the European Press Prize in 2019; the year the New York Times decided to stop running editorial cartoons. Studio Europa Maastricht and the European Press Prize aim to award courage and quality and provoke conversation on the topic of Europe.

To encourage cartoonists to continue their essential task, we have launched the European Cartoon Award, worth €10,000. For cartoons that analyse and reflect upon current affairs and events in Europe or concerning Europe, and thus inspire public debate.


Any cartoonist that works 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.

We are currently working on finalising the timeline for the 2021 European Cartoon Award, the specific dates are to be announced.


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

The publishing date for the 2020 European Cartoon Award should be between December 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020.

Judging procedure

After the entries have come in, they will be assessed and sifted through by the Cartoon Preparatory Committee, consulting widely. The PrepCom will advise the Panel of Judges on a longlist.

The Panel of Judges’ choices and the resulting shortlist will be published on the European Press Prize website. All shortlisted cartoonists will be asked to attend the ceremony where the winner will be announced.

The Panel of Judges makes the final selection for the winner. The winner will be announced during the European Cartoon Award Ceremony on October 1.

The following rules are adhered during the judging process in order to ensure a fair judging process:

(I) PrepCom members and judges cannot enter the contest in the year they are judging.

(II) Each PrepCom member or judge, 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 PrepCom members or judges 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.


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.


After the Panel of Judges makes 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]