Ireland celebrates 50 years of European Union member benefits with first stamp of 2023

An Post’s first stamp of 2023 marking the 50th anniversary of Ireland joining the European Communities (EC), now the European Union (EU), has been unveiled.

The new stamp was unveiled by the Minister for European Affairs, Mr. Peter Burke TD and the European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness.

The stamp has been design by renowned Irish designer Ger Garland and features the flag of what is now known as the European Union (EU).

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The design is based on the stars of the EU flag and the six fundamental values of the EU: Human Dignity, Freedom, Democracy, Equality, Rule of Law, and Human Rights.

Minister for European Affairs, Mr. Peter Burke TD and the European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness unveiled An Post’s first stamp of 2023 marking the 50th anniversary of Ireland joining the European Communities on Friday.

A referendum in May 1972 resulted in over 83% of the people voting ‘Yes’ to joining the European Communities.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Burke said: "Stamps are a small but tangible part of everyday life and this stamp will serve to remind us all of the many ways the EU has impacted on our own everyday lives – from economic growth, to environmental protection, to gender equality and equal pay legislation, to climate, energy, travel and peace.”

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The Irish government has said joining the EC “brought huge benefits to Ireland including access to a market of over 510 million people, thousands of jobs, and increased trade".

"It also gave Irish citizens the right to work in the other member states. Over time membership helped to bring peace and political agreement in Northern Ireland through support and investment in cross-border programmes.”

Minister for European Affairs, Mr. Peter Burke TD and the European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness unveiled An Post’s first stamp of 2023 marking the 50th anniversary of Ireland joining the European Communities on Friday.

Between 1973 and 2015, Ireland received over €74.3 billion in European funding and farmers €54 billion from the Common Agricultural Policy. The Irish language is an official working language in the EU, “offering international protection to our native tongue”.

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Northern Ireland is no longer officially part of the European Union despite a majority voting to remain in the EU and against Brexit in the UK-wide vote of 2016. Special arrangements were subsequently put in place to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland and to protect trade and free movement. This was signed up to by both the UK government and the EU.

The new stamp with a special First Day Cover envelope is available at selected post offices in the south and at anpost.com/shop.

The Government’s EU50 programme is here https://ireland.ie/en/eu50/