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Protect the European Union posters | © Jop van Bennekom, Gert Jonkers, Wolfgang Tillmans
Protect the European Union posters | © Jop van Bennekom, Gert Jonkers, Wolfgang Tillmans
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New Pro-EU Poster Campaign in the Netherlands Responds to Brexit, Trump and Wilders

Picture of Tom Coggins
Updated: 9 March 2017

In anticipation of the upcoming Dutch general election, a collective in the Netherlands has launched a new poster campaign in order to foster solidarity towards the European Union. These posters are emblazoned with pro-European messages and will be freely available from several prominent cultural institutions throughout the country.

Titled Protect the European Union, this campaign was adapted from German artist Wolfgang Tillmans’ anti-Brexit posters. Like Tillmans, the creators of these new posters, Dutch publishers Jop van Bennekom and Gert Jonkers, fear that Europe is currently experiencing a renewed wave of nationalism that threatens to uproot years of united decision-making and divide its member states.

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Protect the European Union posters| © Jop van Bennekom, Gert Jonkers, Wolfgang Tillmans

To raise awareness of the positive effects of the European Union, the posters feature slogans which are directed towards individual voters, reminding them that certain freedoms would not be possible without a united continental government, and that the EU upholds core democratic values such as peace, fair representation and diplomacy. The posters are currently available in French, English, German and Dutch, and will soon be translated into all 24 of the EU’s official languages.

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Protect the European Union posters| © Jop van Bennekom, Gert Jonkers, Wolfgang Tillmans

Each of the five posters can be downloaded freely from the campaign’s website or picked up from FOAM, De Balie, Cookies, Het Nieuwe Instituut and Witte de With. FOAM will also display a large collage of the posters inside its Amsterdam gallery on Keizersgracht during the days leading up to the Dutch general election.

Protect the European Union Posters| © Jop van Bennekom, Gert Jonkers, Wolfgang Tillmans

Protect the European Union posters| © Jop van Bennekom, Gert Jonkers, Wolfgang Tillmans

The Dutch will head to the polls on Wednesday, March 15 and, in the wake of Brexit and Donald Trump’s surprise victory, many believe that the far-right, Euro-sceptic leader Geert Wilders and his party the PVV could secure an unprecedented amount of seats in parliament. Although this prediction is certainly speculative, the international press has touted the Dutch election as the latest test for the European Union and frequently compared Geert Wilders to Donald Trump.

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Protect the European Union posters | © Jop van Bennekom, Gert Jonkers, Wolfgang Tillmans