Peace: the highest value of mankind

Upon demand of Ukraine Postal administration (UkrPoshta), the original topic of this year’s Europa stamp (underwater world) was postponed to 2024 and replaced by an issue dedicated to “Peace: the highest value of mankind”. A contest was organized among all participating countries (28 countries did participate) and a common design was approved on the basis of the Post Luxembourg proposal created by artists Linda Bos and Runa Egilsdottir. It represents multicolored interwoven hearts inspired by a prehistoric Celtic knot ornament, completed by shaking hands. The motif shows a new peace symbol as a metaphor for a peaceful and cooperative society where people embrace each other’s cultures. The design was approved during the PostEurop General Assembly in Dublin on October 5, 2022. At this stage already more than 60 postal administrations have issued or will participate to this common issue.

As usual these stamps were issued on May 9, 2023. On that date, 33 countries issued their stamp(s): Aland – Andorra (Spanish) – Azores – Bosnia Herzegovina – Bosnia Herzegovina (Croatia) – Croatia – Cyprus – Czech Republic – Faroe – Finland – France – Greece – Hungary – Ireland – Italy – Jersey – Latvia – Liechtenstein – Lithuania – Madeira – Malta – Monaco – Montenegro – Netherlands – Norway – Portugal – Romania – San Marino – Serbia – Slovakia – Spain – Switzerland – Turkey

Before that date, another 10 countries had already issued their own stamps: Austria (May 5) – Bosnia Herzegovina (Serbia) (April 28) – Cyprus (Turkish) (May 3) – Denmark (May 4) – Germany (May 4) – Gibraltar (March 30) – Macedonia (North) (May 10) – Moldova (April 28) – Poland (April 25) – Sweden (April 27)

In the meantime, another group of 9 countries issued also their stamps while a few others have already announced a date for the release of their stamps within the next weeks: Belgium (June 12) – Bulgaria (May 26) – Estonia (May 25) – Greenland (May 30) – Guernsey (May 24) – Luxembourg (May 16) – Nagorno Karabakh (May 24) – Slovenia (May 26) – Ukraine (May 26) – Vatican (May 16)

Based on previous years issues, the following other countries may also participate, but no information is available so far: Albania – Armenia – Artsakh (Armenia)Azerbaijan – GeorgiaIsle of Man and Kazakhstan. Russia and Belarus have been suspended from the PostEurop Union and were not allowed to participate to this issue.

Kosovo is the only country that did not issue stamps with the same design, without real explanations (however, Kosovo’s stamps date of issue remaind May 9, 2023). Even the private Post Beepost issued stamps for Estonia, Finland and Lithuania using the common design, as early as February 24, 2023, but this special status and the non-belonging to the UPU excludes these stamps from being part of the joint issue.

A lot of countries (actually already 25) issued a second stamp in parallel, very often their design proposal that was not accepted during the contest. If not issued as stamp, those designs may appear as a cachet on the FDC cover. Here some examples:

Stamps are issued in miniature sheets of very often 8, 10 or 12 stamps, while some countries also created additional souvenir sheets. Bulgaria even issued a postal stationery (postal card). Here are some examples.

Special note: excluding private posts from the official list of participating countries on the basis of their belonging to the UPU cannot be strictly followed. All these borderline postal administrations (on an UPU belonging basis) remain reported in the catalogue abnd left to the collector to decide if they keep them or not in their collection. In fact, Turkish Cyprus, Nagorno Karabakh or Artsakh for examples do not belong to UPU either. This limitation rule is mainly applied in stamp exhibitions and some collectors may hit some critics if showing such stamps. The news here is that Russia and Belarus have been excluded from PostEurop. Should such rule also apply to these countries. I doubt. So let us continue collecting Russia and Belarus stamps as well.

A big thank to Euroswiss from which blog ( a lot of information allowed to complete the above data. The catalogue will be updated soon.

Miscellaneous from October 2022

Marci Jarvis (USA) could provide additional information related to the Tiger Forum joint issue from September 5, 2022. Indeed, Laos issued two stamps representing felines (Clouded leopard and Asian golden cat) but no tiger, however with the forum logo. These two stamps became also available in a special souvenir sheet which is illustrated with a tiger and a cub. Stamps in panes and souvenir sheets are available as perforated and imperforated. The date of issue of the Laos stamps is September 1, 2022. In the meantime, we are still missing information from Nepal stamps related to the Tiger forum.

Don Birschel (USA) provided the illustrations of the stamps issued by Cambodia, which, on the contrary to what was reported so far, bear the logo of the forum, in both stamps and souvenir sheet, . These stamps were issued on September 22, 2022.

Med Achour Ali Ahmed (Algeria) reported that the Algeria Post, next to the UPU World Post Day stamp from October 9, 2022 created also a Postage Meter Imprint with the same topic. However, he noticed that the design contains two hashtag addresses that are erroneous. Hashtags are reference words that allow to find all the information that was exchanged using this specific word. However, to be usable, they need to follow precise rules in particular no white space is allowed. In order to separate words, if this is needed, at least a dash or underscore dash has to be used. This rule applies for latin and arabic characters and both hashtags represented in the meter print are wrong and unusable. Corrected hastags are represented here, below the imprint.

Rindert Paalman (The Netherlands) reported the decision taken during the PostEurop General Assembly in Dublin on 5 October 2022. A common design will be used on all 2023 Europa stamps (probably to be released in May 2023) on the theme “PEACE – the highest value of humanity”. 29 entries were submitted for the design competition and 44 postal companies participated in the voting. The winning motif is the one submitted by Luxembourg : “The New Peace Symbol”.

From Kenneth Sequeira (Singapore), a question related to stamps issued by Mongolia on May 19, 2022 and Japan, souvenir sheet with 10 stamps released on June 15, 2022. The topic refers to the 50th anniversary of relationship. As dates of issue are different, design are different and none of the postal administrations are refering to any collaboration in producing these items, we have to consider that these stamps are just celebrating the same event, but these stamps cannot be considered as joint.

From Cesar Ittmann (the Netherlands), reporting about the stamps celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Eurasian Economic Commission. EAU began its operations on February 2, 2012, but the treaty was signed only on May 29, 2014. The five involved countries participated to this issue with different designs, but four of them were released on the same date of issue: Armenia (August 25, 2022), Belarus (August 26, 2022), Kazakhstan (August 26, 2022), Kyrgyzstan (August 26, 2022) and Russia (July 29, 2022). On this basis, this issue has to be reported as a parallel joint issue [P1] under the entry code [P20220826]. The 5th anniversary of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty (and not operation initiation) was celebrated by the same five countries on August 9, 2019 with identical stamps showing the flags of the countries . It was described in the catalogue under [T20190809].