The history of Europe may be divided into two major periods. A period of wars and distensions, of societal or economic relations or differences, a history of destruction of limited duration according to unfolding events at any particular time, and another period of history, that is immortal, alive and everlasting which unites and brings great joy and contentment to all who participate in it.This history of the European spirit is the one that is filled with radiating light.
The idea of a United Europe began to manifest itself in the issue of stamps with a common design where the only differences were size and colors. Soon however (after 1973) Europe decided that in this way it promoted neither the European intellectual life nor opened the way for the creation of new ideas; on the contrary it only leveled down and restricted the expression of each country. It therefore decided to define the theme only and allow each country to present its own designs. Only in 1984 and again in 2000 did Europe decide to present a common design for the stamps in order to emphasize its unity. In this European intellectual history, Cyprus too has its own share, and its contribution will be presented in the successive "Europa" issues with a common theme.

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After the devastation brought about by the 2nd World War, visionary statesmen such as Konrad Adenauer, Winston Churchill, Alcide de Gasperi and Robert Schuman set about to persuade their people to enter a new era and a new order in Western Europe. It was thus that the foundations of what was to become the European Union were laid on 9th May 1950, when six countries, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg took the decision to pool their coal and steel resources. With the Treaty of Paris they set up the Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951. This act set in motion a peaceful co-operation that has been moving forward progressively for over half a century. In 1957 the Treaty of Rome set up the European Economic Community (EEC). The EEC was based on the concept of a common market in goods and services. The success of this venture saw the first enlargement of the EEC with Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark joining in 1973. Greece joined in 1981 followed by Spain and Portugal in 1986. In 1991 the member states negotiated the Treaty of Maastricht. The EEC was re-named ""The European Community"" (EC).
By adding areas of intergovernmental co-operation to the existing community system, the Treaty created the European Union (EU), which came into force on 1st November 1993. Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU in 1995. This treaty envisaged, among other things, the creation of a monetary union by 1999, and on 1st January 2002 twelve countries replaced their national currencies with the new currency the ""EURO"". At the Copenhagen summit on 13th December 2002, The European Council took the decision to welcome ten more countries to join the EU on 1st May 2004.
This was one of the most significant steps in the entire history of the European Union. In Athens on 16th April 2003, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia signed the accession treaties. They joined the EU as full members on 1st May 2004. Cyprus aims to adopt the ""Euro"" in 2007 or early 2008.

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Founded in 1954, the European Football Association, UEFA, celebrated its 50th anniversary in the knowledge that it had contributed enormously in promoting young players, combating racism in football and organizing competitions such as the annual Champions League Tournament. From the original 30 members, it now boasts a membership of 52 national associations and takes pride in being one of the most successful and influential sports organizations in Europe.

With Athens hosting the 2004 Olympic Games, the annual Championship League Tournament opened in Lisbon with Portugal versus Greece and the latter winning by two goals to one. The players were fired by greater hopes of glory and even when they were outclassed, they never faltered nor lost sight of the glory they were seeking. It soon became evident that all twelve Olympian Gods were favouring the Greek team, and when they won the final against Portugal by one goal to nil, emotions of elation, disbelief and despair among the Greek and Portuguese players and spectators were overwhelming. It was a harbinger of what was to be achieved at the Olympic Games later in the year.

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Since its foundation in Paris, on 21st May 1904, FIFA has developed from the original seven to 204 member associations, making it one of the biggest and certainly the most popular sports federation in the world. With over 250 million active members, it has been instrumental in making football an attractive and important element in the social fabric of society. FIFA commemorated its Centennial with a variety of events and projects to pay tribute to the universality of the world's supreme and beautiful game and to honor people and places of historic importance to football.

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One hundred and eight years after the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, the Games returned in full glory to their ancient and spiritual homeland in a 21st century world living in fear of unprecedented terrorist attacks. Never in the history of the Olympics was security such a prominent issue than at the Athens 2004 Games. Land, sea and air security measures cost Greece some 1.5 billion Euros and the 70,000 armed soldiers patrolling the Games were almost inconspicuous. Four billion television viewers and 70,000 spectators who packed the futuristic Olympic stadium were captivated and enchanted by an opening ceremony that combined thunderous pyrotechnics, state-of-the art technology, magical lighting, music, fire and water. The flooded infield of the stadium reflected the hundreds of drummers drumming to the rhythm of a racing heartbeat while a fiery comet hitting the expanse of water set into flames five Olympic circles. As Eros, the God of Love, hovered above the oval arena, a parade of actors in statuesque poses enacted 3,000 years of mythology, culture, philosophy, history and civilization from the early Minoan age to the Archaic, the Classical, the Byzantine, the Christian, the Ottoman as well as the present and future times. 202 nations and 11,099 athletes took part and Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki, President of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, addressing the athletes said: ""You give flight to our souls; Greece is going to fire the world's imagination"". For the first time since the 4th century A.D. the shot put event was held at the ancient stadium of Olympia, while the runners in the marathon race re-traced the route that the legendary messenger Pheidippides ran from Marathonas in Attica to the Marble Stadium in Athens to announce Athens’ victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. The men's and women's marathon winners were crowned by olive wreaths made from 3,000 years old trees. World and Olympic records tumbled and in the women's pole vault the Russian athlete Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own world record by clearing 4.91 meters. A hitherto unknown Greek athlete Athanasia (meaning immortality) Tsoumeleka gave the Greek nation an emotional uplift when she won the gold medal in the 20 km walking event, and when Fani Halkia unexpectedly won the gold medal in the women's 400 meters hurdles event, Greeks everywhere went into a frenzy. Michael Phelps, the 19 year old American swimmer won eight medals, six of them gold, and matched the Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin’s 1980 record for the most medals won by an individual at anyone of the Games. The closing ceremony of multi -colored flashing fireworks, music, songs and dances from yesteryear to present days, corn harvesters and grape treading was a magnificent show of joy and jubilation no less spectacular than the opening ceremony. To the famous tune of Zorba the Greek, the corn harvesters carrying bundles of corn stalks formed the five interlinked Olympic rings. Athens gave the world an unforgettable and enthralling experience that would be remembered for years to come. It triumphed and humbled all its critics who had berated its ability to host the Games and earned their thanks and congratulations on an impeccably and imaginatively staged Games.

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One hundred and eight years after the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, the Games returned in full glory to their ancient and spiritual homeland in a 21st century world living in fear of unprecedented terrorist attacks. Never in the history of the Olympics was security such a prominent issue than at the Athens 2004 Games. Land, sea and air security measures cost Greece some 1.5 billion Euros and the 70,000 armed soldiers patrolling the Games were almost inconspicuous. Four billion television viewers and 70,000 spectators who packed the futuristic Olympic stadium were captivated and enchanted by an opening ceremony that combined thunderous pyrotechnics, state-of-the art technology, magical lighting, music, fire and water. The flooded infield of the stadium reflected the hundreds of drummers drumming to the rhythm of a racing heartbeat while a fiery comet hitting the expanse of water set into flames five Olympic circles. As Eros, the God of Love, hovered above the oval arena, a parade of actors in statuesque poses enacted 3,000 years of mythology, culture, philosophy, history and civilization from the early Minoan age to the Archaic, the Classical, the Byzantine, the Christian, the Ottoman as well as the present and future times. 202 nations and 11,099 athletes took part and Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki, President of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, addressing the athletes said: ""You give flight to our souls; Greece is going to fire the world's imagination"". For the first time since the 4th century A.D. the shot put event was held at the ancient stadium of Olympia, while the runners in the marathon race re-traced the route that the legendary messenger Pheidippides ran from Marathonas in Attica to the Marble Stadium in Athens to announce Athens’ victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. The men's and women's marathon winners were crowned by olive wreaths made from 3,000 years old trees. World and Olympic records tumbled and in the women's pole vault the Russian athlete Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own world record by clearing 4.91 meters. A hitherto unknown Greek athlete Athanasia (meaning immortality) Tsoumeleka gave the Greek nation an emotional uplift when she won the gold medal in the 20 km walking event, and when Fani Halkia unexpectedly won the gold medal in the women's 400 meters hurdles event, Greeks everywhere went into a frenzy. Michael Phelps, the 19 year old American swimmer won eight medals, six of them gold, and matched the Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin’s 1980 record for the most medals won by an individual at anyone of the Games. The closing ceremony of multi -colored flashing fireworks, music, songs and dances from yesteryear to present days, corn harvesters and grape treading was a magnificent show of joy and jubilation no less spectacular than the opening ceremony. To the famous tune of Zorba the Greek, the corn harvesters carrying bundles of corn stalks formed the five interlinked Olympic rings. Athens gave the world an unforgettable and enthralling experience that would be remembered for years to come. It triumphed and humbled all its critics who had berated its ability to host the Games and earned their thanks and congratulations on an impeccably and imaginatively staged Games.

Collection


One hundred and eight years after the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, the Games returned in full glory to their ancient and spiritual homeland in a 21st century world living in fear of unprecedented terrorist attacks. Never in the history of the Olympics was security such a prominent issue than at the Athens 2004 Games. Land, sea and air security measures cost Greece some 1.5 billion Euros and the 70,000 armed soldiers patrolling the Games were almost inconspicuous. Four billion television viewers and 70,000 spectators who packed the futuristic Olympic stadium were captivated and enchanted by an opening ceremony that combined thunderous pyrotechnics, state-of-the art technology, magical lighting, music, fire and water. The flooded infield of the stadium reflected the hundreds of drummers drumming to the rhythm of a racing heartbeat while a fiery comet hitting the expanse of water set into flames five Olympic circles. As Eros, the God of Love, hovered above the oval arena, a parade of actors in statuesque poses enacted 3,000 years of mythology, culture, philosophy, history and civilization from the early Minoan age to the Archaic, the Classical, the Byzantine, the Christian, the Ottoman as well as the present and future times. 202 nations and 11,099 athletes took part and Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki, President of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, addressing the athletes said: ""You give flight to our souls; Greece is going to fire the world's imagination"". For the first time since the 4th century A.D. the shot put event was held at the ancient stadium of Olympia, while the runners in the marathon race re-traced the route that the legendary messenger Pheidippides ran from Marathonas in Attica to the Marble Stadium in Athens to announce Athens’ victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. The men's and women's marathon winners were crowned by olive wreaths made from 3,000 years old trees. World and Olympic records tumbled and in the women's pole vault the Russian athlete Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own world record by clearing 4.91 meters. A hitherto unknown Greek athlete Athanasia (meaning immortality) Tsoumeleka gave the Greek nation an emotional uplift when she won the gold medal in the 20 km walking event, and when Fani Halkia unexpectedly won the gold medal in the women's 400 meters hurdles event, Greeks everywhere went into a frenzy. Michael Phelps, the 19 year old American swimmer won eight medals, six of them gold, and matched the Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin’s 1980 record for the most medals won by an individual at anyone of the Games. The closing ceremony of multi -colored flashing fireworks, music, songs and dances from yesteryear to present days, corn harvesters and grape treading was a magnificent show of joy and jubilation no less spectacular than the opening ceremony. To the famous tune of Zorba the Greek, the corn harvesters carrying bundles of corn stalks formed the five interlinked Olympic rings. Athens gave the world an unforgettable and enthralling experience that would be remembered for years to come. It triumphed and humbled all its critics who had berated its ability to host the Games and earned their thanks and congratulations on an impeccably and imaginatively staged Games.

Collection


One hundred and eight years after the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, the Games returned in full glory to their ancient and spiritual homeland in a 21st century world living in fear of unprecedented terrorist attacks. Never in the history of the Olympics was security such a prominent issue than at the Athens 2004 Games. Land, sea and air security measures cost Greece some 1.5 billion Euros and the 70,000 armed soldiers patrolling the Games were almost inconspicuous. Four billion television viewers and 70,000 spectators who packed the futuristic Olympic stadium were captivated and enchanted by an opening ceremony that combined thunderous pyrotechnics, state-of-the art technology, magical lighting, music, fire and water. The flooded infield of the stadium reflected the hundreds of drummers drumming to the rhythm of a racing heartbeat while a fiery comet hitting the expanse of water set into flames five Olympic circles. As Eros, the God of Love, hovered above the oval arena, a parade of actors in statuesque poses enacted 3,000 years of mythology, culture, philosophy, history and civilization from the early Minoan age to the Archaic, the Classical, the Byzantine, the Christian, the Ottoman as well as the present and future times. 202 nations and 11,099 athletes took part and Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki, President of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, addressing the athletes said: ""You give flight to our souls; Greece is going to fire the world's imagination"". For the first time since the 4th century A.D. the shot put event was held at the ancient stadium of Olympia, while the runners in the marathon race re-traced the route that the legendary messenger Pheidippides ran from Marathonas in Attica to the Marble Stadium in Athens to announce Athens’ victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. The men's and women's marathon winners were crowned by olive wreaths made from 3,000 years old trees. World and Olympic records tumbled and in the women's pole vault the Russian athlete Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own world record by clearing 4.91 meters. A hitherto unknown Greek athlete Athanasia (meaning immortality) Tsoumeleka gave the Greek nation an emotional uplift when she won the gold medal in the 20 km walking event, and when Fani Halkia unexpectedly won the gold medal in the women's 400 meters hurdles event, Greeks everywhere went into a frenzy. Michael Phelps, the 19 year old American swimmer won eight medals, six of them gold, and matched the Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin’s 1980 record for the most medals won by an individual at anyone of the Games. The closing ceremony of multi -colored flashing fireworks, music, songs and dances from yesteryear to present days, corn harvesters and grape treading was a magnificent show of joy and jubilation no less spectacular than the opening ceremony. To the famous tune of Zorba the Greek, the corn harvesters carrying bundles of corn stalks formed the five interlinked Olympic rings. Athens gave the world an unforgettable and enthralling experience that would be remembered for years to come. It triumphed and humbled all its critics who had berated its ability to host the Games and earned their thanks and congratulations on an impeccably and imaginatively staged Games.

Collection