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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Rhinodolphin ( Turslops truncatus ) :The earliest known mammals lived some 210 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Over tens of millions of years they adapted, evolved and flourished through all climatic changes and natural disasters. Most paleontologists believed that dolphins descended from an extinct line of carnivorous mammals that became aquatic about 50 million years ago. Geneticists on the other hand have found evidence that mammals diversified into today's 18 living orders.

Dolphins like whales and porpoises belong to the Cetacean order. They are the swiftest of cetaceans and they pursue shoals of herring and sardines. They frequent warm temperature waters and the Tursiops truncatus, or Rhinodolphin, one of the most common, grows up to 4 meters and has 100 teeth. A dolphin's fin is but a flattened bone-filled hand it uses for steering and balance. Dolphins are highly intelligent mammals and are often known to have saved the lives of swimmers in distress. In open seas they live in large schools of hundreds.

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At the time of his untimely death in a tragic plane crash in 1999, Yiannos Kranidiotis was Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece responsible for the Cyprus problem and European issues. Born in Nicosia in 1947 he studied Law at the University of Athens and completed his post- graduate studies in the United States and Great Britain. He was an ardent believer in Cyprus’ aspirations to join the European Union and as head of the team handling the Cyprus problem and EEC policies in Cyprus and Greece, he worked tirelessly and single -mindedly to promote and advance Cyprus’ case in Europe. In issuing this stamp to commemorate the 5th anniversary of his death on the very day that Cyprus became a full member of the European Union, Cyprus acknowledges its debt to him and honours a great patriot.

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Emilios Hourmouzios (1904-1973) was born in Limassol. He resided in Athens from 1925 until his death. In 1955 he became director of the National Theater and he staged what was to become the annual theatrical festival of Epidaurus which is held to this day. He served in this capacity until 1964. Emilios Hourmouzios was one of the major critics of his time. Many of his works were translated into other languages. In his work, ""The Ancient Drama in Our Time"", Hourmouzios argues that the interpretation of classical Greek drama in open-air theaters demands new directing and acting methods that run contrary to the methods practiced by the realistic theater of the day. He advocated the modernizing of the ancient classical dramas by separating tragedy from its theocratic and religious roots. In his work,""The Modern Interpretation of Attic Drama"",Hourmouzios divides Greek theater into three periods: classical, medieval, and modern.
He claims that modern Greek theater is not different from European theater and that the distinctive mark of modern Greek theater since 1927 has been the revival of classical drama.

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Georgios Philippou Pierides was born in 1904 in Dhali and died in 1999 in Nicosia. He is considered to be one of the most significant Cypriot writers with a special contribution to the novel, short story and literary essays. He started his literary career in Egypt where he lived from 1904-1946 with the novel "Oi Vamvkades" (The Cotton Growers) 1945 and continued in Cyprus with "Short Stories from the Middle East" 1949 and another five collections of short stories "Skliroi Kairoi" (Hard Times) 1963, "Asaleftoi Kairoi" (Unchanging Times) 1966, "O Kairos tonOlvion" (The Times of the Fortunate) 1975, "O Kairos tis dokimasias" (Trying Times) 1978, "O Kalos politis kai alloi", (The Good Citizen and others) 1993.He also published two books of literary essays "Tessera themata logou" (Four literary themes) 1973,"Dio parallila themata logou" (Two parallel literary themes) 1980 as wellas the books "Memories and Stories from Egypt" 1986 and "More Memories from Egypt" 1995.

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""Vacations"", the theme that POSTEUROP chose to be common to all member countries, immediately brings to mind travel and tourism. Countries all over the world project their tourist attractions and with people ever more ready to travel to exotic and new places, Cyprus can offer the holiday makers not only sun, sand, sea and cool mountain resorts but also transport them in time to ages long ago when ancient kingdoms flourished, crusader castles built and rich noblemen lived in homes adorned with mosaics.

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""Vacations"", the theme that POSTEUROP chose to be common to all member countries, immediately brings to mind travel and tourism. Countries all over the world project their tourist attractions and with people ever more ready to travel to exotic and new places, Cyprus can offer the holiday makers not only sun, sand, sea and cool mountain resorts but also transport them in time to ages long ago when ancient kingdoms flourished, crusader castles built and rich noblemen lived in homes adorned with mosaics.

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The scene of the Annunciation of the Birth of Christ to the shepherds by an angel, forms part of the icon (seen in full in the miniature sheet) from the Monastery of Chrysorroyiatissa (golden pomegranate), which was founded in 1152 by a hermit called Ignatius. The monastery lies 25.6 km south of Stavros-tis-Psokas in the Paphos district. The icon is the work of the Cypriot iconographer Parthenios and dates from the first half of the 19th century. Apart from icons and relics, the monastery possesses a holy shroud dedicated to the Mother of God surnamed Chrysorroyiatissa and dated 1797. An 1801 engraving by John Cornaros, an eminent iconographer of Crete, depicts the story of Ignatius and the icon of the Virgin Mary believed to have been one of seventy icons painted by Saint Luke, and which he had found on the seashore of Paphos. Ignatius believed that the iconoclasts had cast the icon into the sea that it had miraculously turned up on the shores of Cyprus.

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