Europa postage stamp

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Europa stamps are special stamps issued by European postal administrations/ enterprises under the aegis of PostEurop in which Europe is the central theme.

EUROPA stamps underlines cooperation in the posts domain, taking into account promotion of philately. They also build awareness of the common roots, culture and history of Europe and its common goals.As such, EUROPA stamp issues are among the most collected and most popular stamps in the world.

Since the first issue in 1956, EUROPA stamps have been a tangible symbol of Europe’s desire for closer integration and cooperation and in 1993, PostEurop became responsible for issuing EUROPA stamps. Over the years, EUROPA stamp has gained more interest within the Postal community as well as with philatelist, and reflects the engagement from the members in diligently participating in the competition.

History[edit]

From 1956 to 1993[edit]

The Europa issue (also known as Europa - CEPT until 1992) is an annual joint issue of stamps with a common design or theme by postal administrations member of the European Communities (1956-1959), the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT from 1960 to 1992), then the PostEurop Association since 1993.

The first Europa issue dates back to 15 September 1956. The postal administrations of the founding six members of the ECSC issued stamps with a common design: a tower made up of the letters of the word "EUROPA" and surrounded by construction scaffolding.

In 1959, these stamps are jointly issued by the member countries of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications, the initials of which (“CEPT”) are displayed on the stamps of the joint issue as of 1960.

There is a common design theme from 1956 to 1973, (with the exception of 1957). However, many countries issue a stamp that does not feature the common pattern but just displays the word "EUROPA". Common theme issues ran out of steam and after 1973, CEPT allowed countries to issue stamps with different designs.

As before from 1974, the designs freely reflect a common theme. Of note is the CEPT logo indicating it is a Europa CEPT stamp issue. The success of Europa issues among collectors prompted many postal administrations of small countries or territories dependent of European countries (the Channel Islands for instance) to join the issuing countries in the 70s. The number of participants reaches 35 in the 80s. Turkey has participated continuously since 1960, and communist Yugoslavia from 1969. The collapse of the communist bloc brings new issuers as of 1990 to reach 57 countries in the late 90s.

Since 1993[edit]

When the CEPT decided to focus more on telecommunications in 1993, PostEurop took over the management of the Europa issues as well as the responsibility for perpetuating the tradition of the EUROPA stamps and ensuring its evolution. Therefore, the CEPT logo has been replaced by a new logo created by PostEurop, i.e. the word "EUROPA" leaning to the right.

Although in 2006 the member countries of PostEurop have chosen the theme of “Integration as seen by young people” instead of a theme related to the 50th anniversary of Europa issues, several countries have issued stamps or stamps on stamps showing the first common designs of the years 1950-1970, most often with the CEPT logo which was no longer found on Europa stamps since 1993. An anniversary logo (the number 50 in the middle of a star with 5 branches) is also featured on these stamps.

In order to promote Europa issues among philatelists, PostEurop created in 2002 an annual competition of the “Best Europa stamp”.

Since 2005, several non-European countries and non-PostEurop Members have issued stamps in connection with this anniversary. In Europe, some countries, including Serbia-and- Montenegro, Albania, Moldova, Gibraltar, Cyprus, etc. also participated in these issues.

Until 2006, only representatives of the various postal administrations were entitled to elect the best Europa stamp during the Plenary Assembly of PostEurop.

Since 2007, the winner is elected through an open and public voting procedure on the PostEurop website.

By January 2011, the new EUROPA logo, preceded by a symbolic reminder of the mailbox, applies, and for the first time, a Jury Prize Competition is designed by seven philatelic experts.

Common design issues (with the exception of 1957)[edit]

Year Countries Topic
1956 Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands A tower in the form of the 6 letters of the word Europa. Designed by Frenchman Daniel Gonzague. [1][dead link]
1957 Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Saarland, Switzerland A common theme of Peace and Welfare through Agriculture and Industry. [2][dead link]
1958 Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Saarland, Turkey A dove flying above the letter E of Europe. Symbolising the co-operation of the European Postal Services as a vehicle of realizing a United Europe. Designed by Dutchman Andre Van der Vossen [3][dead link]
1959 Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland An interlocking keychain made of 4 circles and 4 squares alternating. Designed by Germany's Walter Brudi. [4][dead link]
1960 Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey The letter O of the word Europa is a Roman mail-coach wheel with 19 spokes, 1 for each 1960 member of CEPT. Design by Finnish artist Pentti Rahikainen. [5][dead link]
1961 Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Stylised dove made up of 19 individual doves. 1 for each 1961 member of CEPT. Designed by Dutch Artist Theo Kurpershoek.[6][dead link]
1962 Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey A stylised tree with 19 leaves. 1 leaf for each 1962 member of CEPT. Designer was Lex Weyer from Luxembourg.[7][dead link]
1963 Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey A stylised cross design composed of 4 3-sided U shapes with CEPT inlaid. Designed by Arne Holm of Norway. [8][dead link]
1964 Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Flower with 22 petals. 1 petal for each 1964 member. Designed by Georges Betemps of France. [9][dead link]
1965 Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Tree sprig. Designed by Hoerder Karlsson from Iceland. Three leaves said to represent Posts,Telegraphs and Telephones. [10][dead link]
1966 Andorra Fr., Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Symbolic Ship. Representing CEPT steady progress on a Calm Sea. Designed by German brothers Josef and Gregor Bender. [11][dead link]
1967 Andorra Fr., Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Cogwheels.CEPT Wheel has 22 teeth, one tooth for each 1967 members of CEPT. Belgian Designer was Oscar Bonnevalle. [12][dead link]
1968 Andorra Fr., Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Key with CEPT in handle, said to be opening the door to a United Europe. Designer was Swiss Painter Hans Schwarzenbach. [13][dead link]
1969 Andorra Fr., Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Vatican 'EUROPA' & 'CEPT' inset on 2 sides of an architectural type Colonnade. Designed by Italians Luigi Gashara & Giorgio Belli. [14][dead link]
1970 Andorra Fr., Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Sun composed of 24 interwoven fibres. 1 for each 1970 CEPT member. Designed by Irish Artist Louis Le Brocquy.[15][dead link]
1971 Andorra Fr., Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Chain of Os with CEPT in the links. Icelandic Designer was Helgi Haflidason. [16][dead link]
1972 Andorra (Fr. & Sp.), Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Designed by Finnish Artist Paavo Huovinen. [17][dead link]
1973 Andorra (Fr. & Sp.), Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey Stylised Post horn. Design of 3 Arrows represent Posts,Telegraphs & Telephones.Norwegian Designer was Leif Frimann Anisdahl. [18][dead link]

Common theme issues of CEPT (with the exception of 1984)[edit]

Year Participating Countries Topic
1974 23 Sculptures [19][dead link]
1975 24 Paintings [20][dead link]
1976 27 Handicrafts [21][dead link]
1977 28 Landscapes [22][dead link]
1978 30 Monuments [23][dead link]
1979 31 Post & Telecommunications [24][dead link]
1980 32 Famous People [25]
1981 32 Folklore [26][dead link]
1982 35 Historic Events [27][dead link]
1983 35 Inventions [28][dead link]
1984 35 Common Design. 25th Anniversary of CEPT [29][dead link]
1985 35 European Music Year [30][dead link]
1986 35 Nature conservation [31][dead link]
1987 35 Modern architecture [32][dead link]
1988 35 Transportation and communications [33][dead link]
1989 35 Children's games [34][dead link]
1990 37 Post offices [35][dead link]
1991 41 European aerospace [36][dead link]
1992 42 Voyages of discovery in America [37][dead link]

Common theme issues of PostEurop (with the exception of 2000)[edit]

Year Participating Countries Topic
1993 46 Contemporary art [38][dead link]
1994 49 Great discoveries [39][dead link]
1995 49 Peace and freedom [40][dead link]
1996 52 Famous women [41][dead link]
1997 54 Tales and legends [42][dead link]
1998 57 Festivals and National Celebrations [43][dead link]
1999 57 Nature reserves and parks [44][dead link]
2000 56 Common Design. Tower of 6 stars [45][dead link]
2001 57 Water, treasure of nature [46][dead link]
2002 58 The Circus [47][dead link]
2003 58 Poster art
2004 59 Holidays
2005 59 Gastronomy
2006 Integration through the eyes of Young People
2007 Scout Centenary
2008 Writing Letters
2009 Astronomy
2010 Children Books
2011 Forests - International year of forests
2012 Visit... (for instance "Visit Finland" or "Visit Spain" etc.)
2013 Van of the Postman - Postal vehicles (celebrating PostEurop's 20th anniversary)
2014 Musical instruments - national musical instruments
2015 Old toys
2016 Ecology in Europe - "Think Green"

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]