The European United Left-Nordic Green Left (Gauche unitaire européenne, GUE-NGL), a left-wing political group in the European Parliament wrote an open letter to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani protesting against the fact that the EU Parliament’s quaestors have attempted to censor an upcoming exhibition of political cartoons which is due to begin later this month.
The exhibition, titled ‘EU turns 60: A Cartoon Party’, aims to exhibit political and humoristic sketches created and published by Greek and French cartoonists in the European Parliament on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Rome Treaty.
Claiming that the cartoons contained “controversial content”, the quaestors have refused to grant permission to exhibit 12 of the 28 cartoons proposed for the exhibition.
The quaestor responsible, MEP Catherine Bearder, also claimed verbally that some of the cartoons which depict Angela Merkel could interfere with the German election – despite the fact that the exhibition will commence after the German election has taken place.
The exhibition organisers, GUE/NGL MEPs Stelios Kouloglou and Patrick Le Hyaric, wrote to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani to appeal the unprecedented censorship decision.
“Political humour and satire are an essential part of democracy since Aristophanes’ times. They censored our exhibition under the pretence of it violating European values, but freedom of speech is the fundamental value of the European Union,” remarks Greek MEP Stelios Kouloglou.
“Therefore, Mr Tajani has to decide whether he stands with the quaestors’ decision or with democracy,” he adds.
The exhibition opens on Tuesday September 26 at 18.30 in the balcony area 1G, Altiero Spinelli Building, European Parliament, Brussels.