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The EU Just Put Out an Awkward Cartoon and It Is Everything

Take that, Marine Le Pen!

By and , a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy.
fresh hell

The European Union has been taking it from all sides lately. The United Kingdom just handed in its divorce papers. A mischievous Vladimir Putin keeps starting up disinformation campaigns. And the union is still fending off the threat of anti-establishment nationalism from the likes of Marine Le Pen. The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has decided to deal with U.S. President Donald Trump’s Euroskepticism by saying he’s going to fight for the secession of Ohio and Texas, which can only end well.

So let’s say you’re an EU leader. Your union is being tested. You are being tested. The stakes are high, and the year is 2017, so you take to Twitter. What do you say? What do you do?

If you’re Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative on foreign policy, there’s only one obvious choice: tweet out a cartoon. A one-minute, not particularly well-rendered cartoon. And make sure it’s about how gosh-darned great the EU is.

The European Union has been taking it from all sides lately. The United Kingdom just handed in its divorce papers. A mischievous Vladimir Putin keeps starting up disinformation campaigns. And the union is still fending off the threat of anti-establishment nationalism from the likes of Marine Le Pen. The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has decided to deal with U.S. President Donald Trump’s Euroskepticism by saying he’s going to fight for the secession of Ohio and Texas, which can only end well.

So let’s say you’re an EU leader. Your union is being tested. You are being tested. The stakes are high, and the year is 2017, so you take to Twitter. What do you say? What do you do?

If you’re Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative on foreign policy, there’s only one obvious choice: tweet out a cartoon. A one-minute, not particularly well-rendered cartoon. And make sure it’s about how gosh-darned great the EU is.

This cartoon outlines for the laypeople why the EU’s 2016 Global Strategy on its foreign and security policy matters to everyone. And it’s an absolute delight.

“Europe’s foreign policy matters to you,” a deep, sultry British voice starts out. “Yes, I am talking to you,” the voice says, specifying he is indeed talking to you.

Buckle up, because the rest of this cartoon is a wild ride. Their faces say it all:

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.44.56 AM

“When Europe’s region is unstable, terrorist groups can spread,” the voice says, clarifying terrorism is bad. “A strong European foreign policy can help our region’s stability and provide Europeans with great opportunities.” (Authors’ note: Who doesn’t love opportunities? We sure as heck do.)

The video clarifies a stable European region can foster entrepreneurship and more exports. As you can see, our unnamed pro-EU heroine and her ne’er do well male friend are thrilled about more exports:

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.44.56 AM

But wait, there’s more!

She violently swings her head to the right to learn the EU can also bring freedom to not only travel but also to learn:

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.44.56 AM

Wow. (Her partner in video crime seems less enthused, but let’s not focus on that.)

That’s the look someone has who just got to page 24 of the 60 page global strategy on enlargement: “A credible enlargement policy grounded on strict and fair conditionality is an irreplaceable tool to enhance resilience within the countries concerned, ensuring that modernisation and democratisation proceed in line with the accession criteria.”

(Authors’ note: This man’s face has not moved since we began this journey; if someone could please go make sure he’s not about to hold a sneaky referendum, that would be great.)

Anyways, back to the video. “This is the union we are building. With the global strategy for foreign and security policy,” our sultry British narrator says. “This is what Europe can achieve when we act together, the European way.”

So for those Europeans laying awake at night wondering, “Is the EU good?” now they have their answer. Or, failing that, this cartoon.

Photo credit: European Union

Emily Tamkin is the U.S. editor of the New Statesman and the author of The Influence of Soros, published July 2020. Twitter: @emilyctamkin

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

Tag: EU

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