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First use of CEPT acronym in the EUROPA series

Europa 1984 - Official Philatelic Document
Europa 1984 – Official Philatelic Document

This article reproduces the text of an official philatelic document published by the French Post and Telecommunications Administration for the Postal Museum and printed on the presses of the Postage Stamp Printing Company.

On June 26, 1959, nineteen states: the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey signed an “Arrangement” in Montreux (Switzerland), creating the “European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations” (CEPT). To these founding states were later added Liechtenstein, Monaco, Vatican City, the Republic of San Marino, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, and Malta, bringing the current number of participating states to 26.

French Stamps of Europa 1984: Yvert & Tellier 2309-2310

Conference: this word chosen in 1959 to designate this organization demonstrates that the CEPT is not at the level of governments but at that of their administrative authorities. It is a meeting of senior officials concerned solely with technical problems and who intend to remain within the limits that the “Arrangement” of 1959 defined in these terms: “The Conference has as its essential objectives the strengthening of relations between the administrations and the ‘practical improvement of their administrative and technical services’. Faithful to this spirit, the CEPT, in the past, has resolved, either alone or sometimes with the approval of the Universal Postal Union, a certain number of questions, including: the generalization of the transport of mail by air; the introduction of a modern system of weight scales for transported objects; the standardization of postal addresses…

Finally, let us cite the establishment, in 1963, at the Munich Plenary Assembly, of CEPT “Clearing”, a cash register international multilateral operating as an interbank clearing house.

The originality of the CEPT comes into full light when we study its internal organization. With the exception of an office located in Bern called the “Liaison Office” and composed of three Swiss officials, the CEPT does not have a permanent headquarters. Every two years, the government of one of the member nations provides its secretariat in a particular city of that state. During this biennial period, the managing administration ensures the continuity of the work of the conference, establishes the management report, and prepares the budget. As for the conference itself, it holds its major plenary meeting every two years in a city chosen for this purpose. France currently ensures management until 1985.

Please note that French is the only official language of the CEPT, but that the use of English and German is possible during the deliberations.

The stamp, common to all member countries, was chosen to symbolize the goals of the CEPT on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Catalogue Reference: Yvert & Tellier 2309-2310

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