On 15 May, An Post issued a stamp to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of CEPT.
The stamp and first day cover were designed by Steve Simpson.
CEPT was established in June 1959, to enable the telecommunications and postal systems across Europe to develop at compatible rates, and in harmonious ways. At the time, the emphasis was on State ownership. However, as private companies entered the market, a need arose for an independent agency to set protocols and maintain standards.
In 1992 the postal and telecommunications operators created their own organisations, Post Europe and ETNO, respectively. In conjunction with the European policy of separating postal and telecommunications operations from policy-making and regulatory functions, CEPT thus became a body of policy-makers and regulators. At the same time, Central and Eastern European Countries became eligible for membership of CEPT. Today, CEPT has 48 members, and now covers almost the entire geographical area of Europe.
The vigilance and innovation represented by CEPT, and the organisations it oversees, ensures that distance, language and complex technology are no barrier to communications, in Europe or around the world. As post and telecommunications systems are deregulated, and competing companies vie for business in fixed-line, mobile phone and internet provision, the role of CEPT is as relevant today as it was when it was first established.