19 November 2019
Jurgen Haepers takes a look at the Europa themes for 2020, 2021 and 2022, exploring how different countries might choose to interpret these themes.
In May last year, PostEurop announced that theme for 2020 would be ‘Ancient Postal Routes’.
The subject of this theme seemed unclear for some members, so PostEurop added the following definition: ‘Ancient postal routes: postal services, meaning the exchange of items over longer distances, put in place in a country or between countries before they were replaced by postal services operated by Governments and offering universal service (example: Thurn and Taxis).’
Links to past themes
We have already had themes related to the postal network; in 1979 it was ‘Post & Telecommunications’ and in 1988 ‘Transportation and communications’, so many countries have already issued stamps related to next year’s theme.
In 1979 we had several stamps with postilions riding a horse or with a stagecoach. For example, Ireland depicting Bianconi’s long car of 1836, or a messenger from Portugal holding a letter with a stick to avoid being contaminated by the plague. In 1988 few countries depicted historical ways of transportation. But we saw a stagecoach on the stamp of Portugal and on Guernsey’s stamp.
At the end of 2018 PostEurop invited suggestions for themes for the first time. They received more than 130 proposals and from those 28 were identified as possibles, with each PostEurop member then being asked to choose their preferred themes. The competition was said to be very tight and in June they announced the theme for 2021 as ‘Endangered National Wildlife’ and for 2022 ‘Stories and Myths’.
Again those themes are close to themes already used in the past. The 2021 subject is related to ecology as was already the case in 1986 with ‘Nature Conservation’ and in 1999 ‘Nature Reserves and Parks’. The 2022 theme is very close to the ‘Tales and Legends’ theme of 1997.
As a Europa stamps collector this lack of originality is a little frustrating, but it will still be very interesting to see how the European nations interpret and represent the familiar themes.
QUICK LINK: Europa 2019 song bird stamps