Europa postage stamp
The Europa postage stamp (also known as Europa - CEPT until 1992) is an annual joint issue of stamps with a common design or theme by postal administrations of member countries of the European Communities (1956-1959), the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) from 1960 to 1992, and the PostEurop Association since 1993. 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.
From 1956 to 1993Edit
The first Europa issue was on 15 September 1956. The postal administrations of the founding six members of the European Coal and Steel Community (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, the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) was formed, and from 1960 the initials "CEPT" were displayed on the joint issue stamps.
The stamps had a common design from 1956 to 1973, (with the exception of 1957). However, many countries issued a stamp that did not feature the common pattern but just displayed the word "EUROPA". From 1974, the common design was replaced by stamps with different designs, but with a common theme.
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. Andorra has issued Europa Stamps since 1966 (French) and 1972 (Spain). Andorra cannot Join PostEurop as its Postal System is looked after independently by both France and Spain. The Isle of Man and Guernsey, Crown dependencies of the United Kingdom, first issued Europa stamps in 1976, with Jersey following in 1978. The number of participants reached 35 in the 80s. Turkey participated continuously since 1960, and communist Yugoslavia from 1969. The collapse of the communist bloc in 1989–90 brought new issuers, reaching 57 countries in the late 90s.
When CEPT decided to focus more on telecommunications in 1993, PostEurop took over the management of the Europa issues. The CEPT logo was 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 chose the theme of "Integration as seen by young people" instead of a theme related to the 50th anniversary of Europa issues, several countries issued stamps showing the first common designs of the years 1950–1970. 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, Montenegro, Albania, Armenia, 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, but since 2007, the winner is elected through an open and public voting procedure on the PostEurop website.
From January 2011, the new EUROPA logo, preceded by a symbolic reminder of the mailbox, applies, and a Jury Prize Competition is designed by seven philatelic experts.
Common design issues (with the exception of 1957)Edit
|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. |
|1957||Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Saarland, Switzerland||A common theme of Peace and Welfare through Agriculture and Industry. |
|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 |
|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. |
|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. |
|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. |
|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. |
|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. |
|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. |
|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. |
|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. |
|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. |
|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. [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 Gasbara & Giorgio Belli. |
|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.|
|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 O with CEPT in the links. Icelandic Designer was Helgi Haflidason. |
|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. |
|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. |
Common theme issues of CEPT (with the exception of 1984)Edit
|1979||31||Post & Telecommunications |
|1980||32||Famous People |
|1982||35||Historic Events |
|1984||35||Common Design. 25th Anniversary of CEPT |
|1985||35||European Music Year |
|1986||35||Nature conservation |
|1987||35||Modern architecture |
|1988||35||Transportation and communications |
|1989||35||Children's games |
|1990||37||Post offices |
|1991||41||European aerospace |
|1992||42||Voyages of discovery in America |
Common theme issues of PostEurop (with the exception of 2000 and 2016)Edit
The list includes the jury and online competition winners since 2002 when the EUROPA stamp competition started.
|Year||Topic||Winning Postal Service||Stamp Description|
|1993||Contemporary Art ||—||—|
|1994||Great Discoveries |
|1995||Peace and Freedom |
|1996||Famous Women |
|1997||Tales and Legends |
|1998||Festivals and National Celebrations |
|1999||Nature Reserves and Parks |
|2000||"Tower of 6 Stars" (Common Design) |
|2001||Water, Treasure of Nature |
|2002||The Circus ||Malta, MaltaPost p.l.c. (online)||The stamp reproduces a portrait image of a clown from an award-winning photograph by Gino Theuma.|
|2003||Poster Arts||Monaco, La Poste Monaco (jury)||The stamp depicts a young girl sitting on a diving board.|
|2004||Holidays||Greenland, Post Greenland (online)||Two Greenlandic girls in national costumes greet each other by rubbing their noses, with the Arctic Ocean as a backdrop. The text on the stamp reads "Greetings from Greenland".|
|2005||Gastronomy||Iceland, Íslandspóstur hf (jury)||What immediately catches the eye of the selected stamp is its plate-shaped form. Combined with the geometrical pattern of the illustrations and the multiple positions of the text, it provides a very dynamic and modern touch.|
|2006||Integration as Seen by Young People||Ukraine, SC Ukrposhta (online)||This stamp shows the Earth floating in the vast universe that surrounds it. The human figures holding hands symbolize world integration for the common welfare of mankind in the future.|
|2007||100 Years of Scoutism||Armenia, Haypost C.J.S.C. (jury)||All the hands are doing the scout sign, representing tolerance and solidarity.|
|2008||The Letter||Hungary, Magyar Posta (online)||This stamp depicts the theme "The letter" in the background in the form of a mailed letter as well as in the foreground with an actual script letter.|
|2009||Astronomy||Hungary, Magyar Posta (jury)||The stamps portrays Galileo, the space probe named after him launched in 1989 with interplanetary space as background.|
|2010||Children Books||Hungary, Magyar Posta (online)||The stamps feature a few of the storybook illustrations of the Hungarian Kossuth Prize winning graphic designer Károly Reich (1922-88). The design capture incidents from the story of a little bear much loved by Hungarian readers, Vackor. (All the drawings appeared as illustrations in the children's book by István Kormos, The Tales of Vackor).|
|2011||Forest (International Year of Forests)||Cyprus, Cyprus Post (jury)||—|
|Turkey, Turkish PTT (online)||This stamp from Turkish PTT was designed by Bülent Ates capturing the forest in the autumn.|
|2012||Visit... (for instance "Visit Russia" or "Visit Hungary" etc.)||Russia, JSC Russian Post (jury)||—|
|Hungary, Magyar Posta (online)||The stamp is one of two stamps designed by Ágnes Rozmann, a Hungarian graphic artist. The main motif of the stamp is Hungary's online country code ‘.HU’, which is filled with peppers and grapes.|
|2013||Postal Vehicles (celebrating PostEurop's 20th anniversary)||Finland, Posti Group (jury)||The stamp portrays a Volvo LV-70 truck from 1933, found today at the Mobilia automobile and road museum.|
|Turkey, Turkish PTT (online)||—|
|2014||Musical Instruments||Belgium, bpost (jury)||On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Adolphe Sax, the Europa issue is dedicated to the saxophone and to the saxophonist. The image of the saxophone is printed with a transparent hot foil with embossing.|
|Serbia, Public Enterprise Post of Serbia (online)||On the stamp with the value of 74,00 rsd: Music instrument bagpipe, in the background man in national folk costume with bagpipe and authentic landscape from eastern Serbia.|
|2015||Old Toys||Russia, JSC Russian Post (jury)||The stamp depicts a Carrousel Dymkovo toy (Russian traditional clay figurine) and matryoshka dolls.|
|Turkey, Turkish PTT (online)||Represents a wooden toy car which was very common back in the days in Turkey.|
|2016||Ecology in Europe — "Think Green" (Common Design)||Cyprus, Cyprus Post||In order to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of EUROPA, PostEurop Members decided that instead of a competition, 2016 will have a Think Green Joint Motif. The design motif which collected the most votes was the one from Cyprus Post. Given this, all the countries which are authorized to issue EUROPA Stamps, issued their respective stamp with the design from Cyprus, adapted to their own language and local postage price.|
|2017||Castles||Finland, Posti Group (jury)||Anssi Kähärä's Snow Castle offers a new viewpoint to the subject of created castles. "I could not find the right picture of a snow castle anywhere, so I built a castle myself in Kymijoki, by the village of Iitti," says Kähärä. "I had amazing luck with the shooting conditions, as the evening sunset was absolutely beautiful."|
|Turkey, Turkish PTT (online)||The Kars Castle is displayed in this stamp.|
|2018||Bridges||Belgium, bpost (jury)||For this stamp issue, we have chosen one of the oldest bridges that still exists in Belgium. The ‘Pont des Trous’ is located in the city of Tournai/Doornik. This bridge is still one of the oldest in Europe, dating back to the 13th century. The 2 stamps each show half of the bridge in a different design and both are engraved by Guillaume Broux.|
|Turkey, Turkish PTT (online)||The Edırne Uzunköprü Bridge was built between 1426 and 1443, during the reign of Sultan Murat II.. It is located on the Ergene River in Uzunköprü, a county belonging to the Edirne Province. With a length of 1392 meters, a width of 5,40 meters and with 174 arches, it is considered to be the World's longest and still standing stone bridge. It has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, together with a joint study from the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, in cooperation with the General Directorate of Highways.|
|2019||National Birds||Slovenia, Pošta Slovenije, d.o.o. (jury)||This small, orange-brown social bird with a very long stepped tail measures 16–17 cm from the tip of its beak to the end of its tail. It lives in thick stands of reeds, where it is most frequently observed in low flight, beating its short wings rapidly. It likes to perch in the tops of reeds, particularly in the early morning and in autumn. Its diet consists of insects and seeds. It builds a bowl-shaped nest near the ground in reeds that bend over water. It lays five to seven white spotted eggs and has two to three broods a year. Its first confirmed nesting in Slovenia was in the Ormož Lagoons Nature Reserve in 2017.|
|Armenia, Haypost C.J.S.C. (online)||The postage stamp depicts the barn swallow against the background of floral ornaments.|
|2020||Ancient Postal Routes||Poland, Poczta Polska S.A. (jury)||TBA|
|Turkey, Turkish PTT (online)||TBA|
- Europa CEPT, PostEurop 2005: Thematic Stamps Catalogue; specialized. Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain: Domfil, 2004 ISBN 8495615231, 392p.
- Europa Study Unit. Europa Stamps. Milwaukee, WI.: American Topical Association, 1962, 35p.
- Schneider, Andreas. Europa-Thematik Spezialkatalog. Essen: A. Schneider, 1982, 267p.
- Staedal, Paul. Europe-Philatelie III: Spezial Katalog der Europaischen Briefmarken und Sonderstempel. Strasbourg: Europa F. D. C. Service, 1976–77
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