Travelling the Ancient Routes via EUROPA Stamps


It's Europe Day and PostEurop is proud to launch the 2020 most beautiful EUROPA stamp competition, based on the theme “Ancient Postal Routes”. Whether you are a philatelic enthusiast, postal fan or a History lover, this year's EUROPA Stamps will give you the opportunity to travel through time to where it all began for the Postal Industry.  Exquisite stamps and sheets are showcasing some of the most well-known and historical delivery journeys and include how mail was carried throughout Europe.

Trading is one of the world’s oldest commercial activities, which can be directly linked with cultural exchanges, religious diaspora and scientific knowledge sharing. Whether we speak about trading routes such as the historical Silk Road, or the establishment of pioneering postal systems, we can see the importance that it had brought to society’s development. In early days, messengers were the ones responsible for carrying out this precious mission, having to overcome several obstacles such as severe traveling conditions, burglars or even tempests, in order to complete their work. Due to these issues and to dissemination of technological inventions (e.g. paper and printing press in 15 c.), as well as to the fast-growing market needs, the development of a structured Postal Network that could lead to the creation of faster routes and accelerate the efficiency of these commercial exchanges has led to the establishment of Postal Operators.

Today, as Universal Service Providers, Postal Operators provide a critical infrastructure spanning to the most remote areas in each country, making sure that citizens have access to the postal network. Postal operators are proud owners of numerous delivery fleets and operate complex systems to ensure the sustainability of their supply chain, proving to be a vital pillar of our society. More than a simple delivery company, they are responsible for connecting communities cross-border across Europe and worldwide, improving our daily lives, and ensuring last mile deliveries. But before all of this, how was it like? When mobility was quite reduced, and travelling a dangerous activity, how did the Post start to invent Itself?

This year's EUROPA Stamps theme will answer these questions by depicting some of the most famous routes and traveling methods which paved the way to improve connectivity throughout the globe. From famous ships to wonderful carriages, we will see a historical variety of beautiful elements which constitute the rich postal heritage.     

Thus, PostEurop is inviting all historians, postal fans and philatelic enthusiasts to travel together with this beautiful theme, and rediscover the magnificent routes, which inspired so many stories and made Postal Operators so popular; and cast a vote for their favourite stamp of this 2020 EUROPA Stamps Competition, on
"This theme gives a certain nostalgic feeling, as it represents the early day of our unique industry. When PostEurop Members were voting for the upcoming topics, one could see that the majority was rather excited with the possibility of further developing the Ancient Postal Routes concept. We have seen several books, tales and beautiful stories being inspired by the long journeys postal workers had gone through in order to deliver goods across the world. Therefore, we hope that this EUROPA theme will be able to reach enthusiasts' hearts with the same passion, and with the same meaning that it has for us" said Agnieszka Trząskowska, Chair of the PostEurop Stamps & Philately Working Group.  

“When faced with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Postal operators have been quick to adapt and seek alternative affordable solutions to deliver postal items to their final destination.  Hence, it is not unusual to learn of chartered transatlantic cargo flights, trains from China to Europe or sea voyages from Denmark to Iceland or Greece to Cyprus at times like this.  In a way, the current theme is most appropriate for these challenging times.” Added Botond Szebeny, PostEurop Secretary General.

View and Vote for Your Favourite EUROPA Stamp Today

We invite you to view all the beautiful entries and vote for your favourite stamp on The online competition will end on 9 September 2020 and the winning stamps will be announced at the PostEurop Plenary Assembly to be held on October 2020 in Dublin, Ireland.

More about EUROPA Stamps
Since 1956, EUROPA stamps have been a symbol of Europe’s desire for closer integration and co-operation. These special stamps are issued by the European postal administrations/enterprises and bears the EUROPA logo, a PostEurop registered trademark. Since 1993, PostEurop has been the responsible organisation for issuing EUROPA stamps and each year, philately experts within the Philately working group organise the competition amongst other philately initiatives. See more information on


For more information, please contact:

Cynthia Wee-Neumann
Communications Manager
T: +2 2 773 11 92 

POSTEUROP is the association which represents European public postal operators. It is committed to supporting and developing a sustainable European postal communication market accessible to all customers and ensuring a modern and affordable universal service. Our Members represent 2 million employees across Europe and deliver to 800 million customers daily through over 175,000 counters.

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