Since a few years the open philately class has been recognized by FIP, and we have FIP-regulations. Still most FIP-exhibitions don´t award the open exhibits with the same medals as the other classes, and open exhibits can´t compete and win the Grand Prix-awards.
The Swedish federation think it is a success that FIP has recognized the class. But we think that FEPA must keep up the struggle to make open class a class of it is own with the same advantages as all the other exhibit classes.
One disadvantage with the FIP-regulations is that they are made with the same points as in the traditional class. That means that open class exhibits based on postal history easily can compete and reach a high levelbut thematic based exhibits has no chance at all. It is like saying to the exhibitors in thematic class that we will take away their regulations and judge them after the traditional regulations. Every experienced exhibitor understand that it is impossible. In the same way is it impossible to judge thematic open exhibits according to the FIP regulations.
Last year at the FEPA-congress in Tampere the Swedish federation made a motion that FEPA tries to change the new FIP-regulations regarding the Open class back to the earlier regulations as they were before, taken by FEPA. We also wished that during the process the FEPA members should use the old FEPA regulations. Our proposal was well received by the members, but most members didn´t want to go back to the old regulations before we can convince FIP to change their regulations according to our wishes.
Now the Swedish federation think it would be good if FEPA have a strategy how to proceed. We think the best way is trying to make it in three steps:
1) Make the open philately a sub class to postal history AND thematic philately. Use the same regulations, just accept up to 50 % of non-philately. This would solve the problem that different kinds of open exhibits can´t compete on the same terms. It would also force the FIP-exhibitions to let all open exhibits compete for the same medal as all other classes.
2) Try to convince FIP that the open class is a way of finding new exhibitors, and that it is a class of it is own, and therefore it deserves a Commission of it is own.
3) When we can convince FIP that open class should have it´s own Commission we can try to make regulations more like the FEPA-regulations, possible to judge all kind of open exhibits in a fair way. The advantage to make open a sub-class during the process is that the ordinary judges in postal history and thematic have to learn the non-philately as well, and we will have a lot of well educated international judges already from the start.
We hope more members of FEPA, as well as the FEPA-board, find our thoughts interesting and hopefully we can continue the discussion how to develop the open class internationally.
Peter Nordin, Chairman of the Swedish committee for jurors and exhibitions.
Bo Dahlner, President of the Swedish Federation