FEPA History

The Concept and Development of the Federation of  European Philatelic Associations

The concept that European Philatelic Federations should get together to consider the formation of a Continental Federation arose as is often the case in such matters from a number of informal discussions between individuals with likeminded ideas. These culminated in the British Philatelic Federation contacting a number of other Federations to enquire whether they would be supportive of there being a discussion of the possibility of forming a European Federation during the HAFNIA International Exhibition held at Copenhagen in October 1987.

The response received was very positive and a meeting was arranged for Friday 23 October 1987. This was well attended (Denmark being excused) by representatives from Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia. Finland, France, Germany BRD, Germany DDR, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, FIP, FIAF and FIAP with Ronald Lee (UK) acting as Chairman.

The basis of the concept to provide a forum for closer philatelic co-operation throughout Europe was explained by Alan Huggins (UK) and Ladislaw Dvoracek, President of FIP indicated that he welcomed the idea of the formation of the proposed Federation. A lively discussion then developed of the draft text distributed and the Swedish Federation suggested that a Working Party should be formed, preferably representative of the different geographical areas of Europe. This proposal was accepted and the following were nominated to be members: Tomas Kocsis (Hungary), Salih Kuyas (Turkey), Ronald Lee (United Kingdom), Johan Olamo (Finland), and Francisco da Silveira (Portugal). With the addition of a member of the Austrian Federation to represent the German-speaking area and a representative from me Benelux countries to be nominated, the composition of the Working Party was confirmed and a meeting scheduled for 1 March in London.

The primary business of the Working Party meeting in London, which was also attended by Siegfried Adler (vice Karl-Heinz Wagner), George Lindberg, Cornelis Muys. Jaap Voskuil and Alan Huggins, was to consider a draft text of the FEPA Constitution and Rules. A number of amendments were agreed and the revised text distributed for consideration at the FEPA meeting arranged on 3 September 1988 in Prague during the PRAGA 88 International Exhibition.

At this meeting, chaired by Alan Huggins in Ronald Lee’s absence, a number of additional amendments to the draft Constitution and Rules were proposed and accepted; a series of proposals by the Austrian Federation circulated for consideration; the Working Party constituted as the first “Committee” of FEPA, with the British Federation acting as the temporary Secretariat; the procedure for nominations of the Officers and Committee agreed and the Committee charged with preparing a programme of work for consideration at the next FEPA meeting in Sofia on 29 May 1989. The question of the possibility of membership of Federations from countries outside continental Europe was also discussed and it was agreed that Israel be accepted as a full member of FEPA. The final preparations for the Sofia meeting, at which it was intended to formally inaugurate FEPA, were made by the Committee at a meeting held in Budapest on 3 December 1988.

The Sofia meeting was very well attended, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Rumania and San Marino being the only countries without representatives present. The nomination of Dr. Alan Huggins (UK) as the first Chairman of FEPA was unanimously supported together with the membership of the Management Committee – T. Kocsis (Hungary), S. Kuyas (Turkey), F. da Silveira (Portugal). C. Sundman (Finland), J. Voskuil (Netherlands) and K.H. Wagner (Austria). Representatives of FIP, FIAF, FIAP and the Egyptian Federation were also present as Observers and the president of FIP, Ladislav Dvoracek, welcomed the formation of FEPA and indicated that an application to become an Associate Member of FIP would receive a warm and positive response. The FEPA Constitution was unanimously agreed, Article II setting out the objects of the organisation as follows:

  1. To represent and promote European philately in Íts broadest sense within the aims and objectives of FIP.
  2. To fulfill the role and functions of FEPA which will include:
    1. To facilitate contact between member Associations/Federations
    2. To represent a European viewpoint to other philatelic organisations
    3. To promote interest in philately generally throughout member countries of FEPA
    4. To collaborate in stimulating interest among young collectors
    5. To further the specialised study of philatelic material
    6. To advise on and/or organise philatelic events within Europe
    7. To encourage the publication and distribution of philatelic literature
    8. To encourage the participation of exhibitors and interchange of jurors at National Exhibitions in member countries of FEPA

Membership would be available to any European National Philatelic Association/Federation who are members of FIP or who would be eligible to join. In addition membership applications from National Philatelic.

Associations/Federations in other countries which are near Europe but which have no Continental Federation of their own would also be considered (currently Cyprus, Egypt and Israel are members on this basis). The essence of FEPA was to be the promotion of co-operation between Federations and the facilitation of the flow of information about philately without creating undue expenditure and for this reason the subscription was kept low with the Federation of the Chairman undertaking to provide the necessary administrative support.

With the mandate given by the Sofia meeting FEPA was now able to begin to function and at a meeting of the Management Committee held on 31 May 1989 Tamas Kocsis was appointed Deputy Chairman and Jaap Voskuil appointed Treasurer; a search for a suitable logo was initiated and it was agreed to devise and circulate questionnaires on Exhibition Regulations, judging arrangements and the promotion of Philately via Radio, TV, Films and Videotapes.

At the next FEPA meeting held on 11 May 1990 during STAMP WORLD LONDON 90, Egypt and Romania were elected to membership; a logo design approved and the preliminary questionnaire results discussed. In response to requests for FEPA patronage of exhibitions, the need to formulate more precisely the principles relating to the granting of patronage had become apparent, and the Management Committee were asked to prepare a text for submission to the 1991 FEPA meeting which was held in Dresden on 24 August during LILIENTHAL 91, which was the first exhibition to be held with FEPA patronage and support. Initially, this was to have been RUMBO AL’92, scheduled to take place in Seville during May 1991, but in the event this exhibition was retimed to 29 October – 3 November so that two other exhibitions, BALKANPHILA’91 held in Bacau, Romania from 20-24 September and CAIRO’91, which took place in Cairo from 7-12 October got in ahead.

A number of other initiatives arose out of the 1991 meeting – a questionnaire on Youth Philately; the listing and ranking of Regional and National exhibitions; compilation of information on Customs procedures, and the Chairman to hold discussions in Tokyo with FIAF and FIAP as well as the President of FIP on various matters, including the recognition of awards at Continental exhibitions and representation on, and nomination to, the FIP Board. These discussions were duly held and proved to be a very positive step towards a greater degree of interaction and co-operation between the Continental Federations and with FIP. A day or so later at the Tokyo Congress, FEPA took its place for the first time alongside FIAF and FIAP, the application for Associate Membership of FIP having been approved at the previous FIP Congress in London.

The 1992 FEPA meeting took place in Granada in Spain on 2 May 1992 and was particularity memorable for the presentation on behalf of RUMBO AL’92 by Fernando Aranaz, Chairman of GRANADA’ 92, of a generous donation to FEPA funds, for which he was warmly thanked by the Chairman on behalf of all FEPA Federations. Reports were made on the exhibitions which took place in 1991 with FEPA patronage and/or support, and FEPA patronage confirmed for EUROFILEX’92 to be held in Budapest from 12-16 September 1992 and EURAPEX’’93, an Aerophilatelic exhibition scheduled for 2-7 March 1993 in London. Albania and San Marino were elected to membership and a wide-ranging discussion then took place on the rapidity changing political structure of Europe which could well be reflected in future applications for FEPA membership. It was generally agreed that recognition by the United Nations and by the UPU would serve as normal criteria for acceptance and that as far as possible an endeavour would be made to maintain parity with FIP. The date and venue of the 1993 FEPA meeting was agreed as 15 May 1993 in Poznan and the invitation of the Nederlandse Bond van Filatelisten Verenigingen to hold the 1994 FEPA meeting in The Hague during FEPAPOST’94 was accepted. Finally Robert Francon (France) was nominated and confírmed as the member of the Committee to take over from Francisco da Silveira (Portugal).

The 1993 FEPA meeting was held in Poznan in Poland on 15 May 1993 with representatives from 28 countries present Reports were received from FEPA Observers at EUROFILEX’92 and EURAPEX’93 both of which were very successful events attracting a high standard of entries. Applications for membership had been received from the Czech Republic, Liechtenstein and the Slovak Republic and these were accepted. An application from Gibraltar was deferred pending farther clarification. The Management Committee for 1993-1997 was confirmed as Chairman Christian Sundman, replacing Alan Huggins, who was made the first Honorary President; Michael Adler, replacing the late Karl-Heinz Wagner, Robert Francon; Salih Kuyas; Ludwik Malendowicz and Jaap Voskuil. A report on the discussions held with FIP on the recognition by FIP of awards gained in the International Classes at Continental exhibitions was received and the support of the FIP Board for the motion put down for the Bangkok Congress confirmed. In the event, this was referred for further drafting amendments prior to presentation at the Seoul Congress in August.

A further Management Committee meeting was held in Lisse during March 1994 to prepare for the FEPA Meeting at FEPAPOST in October but very soon after the tragic news of Christian Sundman’s death was announced. As a consequence Michael Adler became Acting Chairman and Ingolf Kapeirud was nominated to the Management Committee to represent the Nordic countries.

This booklet is being prepared for distribution at the FEPAPOST’94 exhibition and this short synopsis of the background to the formation and development of FEPA demonstrates that the Federation of European Philatelic Associations is well and truly established and is looking forward with confidence to the future by building up the position of European philately both within Europe and on a Worldwide basis

Alan Huggins