Article first published in The New Federalist, 21 January, by Juuso Järviniemi

A new species of creatures has taken the French-speaking pro-EU Internet sphere by storm: the Eurolapins. A European election campaign by the French section of Pulse of Europe, the Facebook page posts animated images and videos featuring European rabbits who strive to stay safe from wolves called Vladimir, Donald and Ping. We spoke with the team behind the rabbits!

The title of the channel’s first video translates as “Stop playing the wolves’ game, go vote”. The Pulse of Europe team describes the campaign as pro-voting and anti-extremism: “Extremists have now clearly ‘come out of the woods’, as we say in French. They are trying to break both the European Union and our democracies.”

The campaign aims to communicate about Europe in a new way. The team behind the page say that “the usual intellectual debates and discussions that Europhiles like to organise are not enough” to combat extremism. Instead, the page seeks to appeal to emotional factors like solidarity, and convey the message through humour. In brief, “to get a grip on social media”.

The rabbit team believes that by sticking together, the moderates can scare the wolves away. Because extremism is fuelled by a tribal feeling, the far-right and far-left tribes will go back into hiding when faced up against a stronger, more united moderate group, they explain.

At the same time, the page presents a positive narrative for Europe. At Christmas for example, the campaign reminded us of the reasons why Europeans have “Christmas all year long”, including social and environmental protections. Might animated rabbits be just what we need to channel the voice of the silent majority?

The Eurolapins campaign is funded by donations from private individuals. Pulse of Europe accepts donations here.