Every year around this time, we write about the EUROPA stamps and the competition to pick the most beautiful one for that year. This year though, the traditional competition isn’t taking place because all stamps share a common design! This is not new, and has happened multiple times in the history of EUROPA stamps, including in the very first issue back in 1956.
Below is 2023's design as seen on the Finnish stamp. The theme of the year is “Peace — the highest value of humanity”:
Every country is using the same design this year, arranged in slightly different ways to match the shape or aesthetics of other stamps in the country. In order to arrive at this design, a contest was run by PostEurop in which the different postal services submitted their interpretations on the topic, and then one was chosen to represent it. The winning entry was created by Linda Bos and Runa Egilsdottir of “A Designer’s Collective”, for POST Luxembourg. About the design, they wrote:
“The world needs a new Peace symbol, uniting all nations. Cultural differences perchance a barrier for a state of Peace. If only mankind could respect each other’s differences by understanding their significance and responding to them with consideration, the world would be a better place. This design shows a visual metaphor for a peacefully integrated, cooperative society in which people embrace each other’s culture. It was inspired by the Celtic Love Knot symbol, with interlocking hearts. The colour palette illustrates all the nations in the world. By adding hands with intertwined fingers, it conveys the message of mutual respect.”
Many other postal services also decided to design a second stamp to pair with this one, and you can see some of those on this forum topic.
While on one hand we’re a little sad that we don’t get to see the usual diversity of designs and interpretations, on the other hand, it’s also heartwarming to see a joint issue. This is how EUROPA stamps started: with a shared design as a symbol of cooperation between European countries. The topic also hails back to the beginning of these stamps, as the designs for the second and third years of the EUROPA series featured peace symbols.
So… what do you think? Do you like the design that was chosen, or would you have preferred if every country had its own unique entry? Aaaaaand, on a different but somewhat related topic, which song do you think will win Eurovision
tonight this weekend? 🤔