The History of Romania in One Object / Romania a Member of the EU Stamp Issue
Updated: Jul 27
The first season of the History of Romania in One Object concludes with the epoch-making event of our integration into the European Union, the most consequential, transformative political arrangement Romania has ever been part of. The symbolical object that illustrates this crucial historical turn, which has impacted all facets of Romanian life, is the Romania and Bulgaria Together in the EU stamp issue, which is part of the National History Museum of Romania collection.
Almost every major event in world’s modern history has been captured on stamps, small yet precious objects bearing through their images the power of universal language. Historical moments, great figures, artistic triumphs have all been celebrated through stamp issues. Romania’s accession to the European Union makes no exception.
Photo 1-4: The stamp issue published in 2006 on the occasion of Romania’s and Bulgaria’s integration into the European Union (January 1, 2007)
To mark Romania’s and Bulgaria’s integration into the European Union in 2007, several stamps were issued. A joint stamp issue was created in November 2006 when The Treaty of Accession was ratified by the E.U.’s member states, which reproduced two visual compositions, one created by a Romanian graphic designer, the other by a Bulgarian one. Both images were based on figurative elements that amalgamated the two countries’ colors of the flags and European symbols, which were accompanied by the message Romania and Bulgaria together in the E.U. The stamp issue came with a special envelope and miniature sheets. Another stamp which belonged to the series of Romania in the European Union issues featured a drawing of the Sphinx, the famous Romanian rock located on the peaks of the Carpathian Mountains, several EU symbols and the historic date, January 1, 2007.
The 1990s saw important developments of the European Union: the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992 furthered the European integration; five years later the Treaty of Amsterdam transferred significant powers from national governments to the European Parliament across diverse areas and brought institutional changes that affected the process of European enlargement. The integration of Romania in the European Union was a lengthy process that profoundly transformed the country as it absorbed the principles and rules that governed the European institutions. The road to accession began in the 1990s, right after the fall of the communist dictatorship. In 1991, a Trade and Cooperation Agreement was signed, followed in 1993 by the Agreement on Association of Romania to the European Union, which entered into force two years later.
Photo 5-7: Different aspects of the ceremonies which took place on the occasion of the signing of Romania's Treaty of Accession to the EU.
We formally applied to join the Union in June 1995 and in December 1999 the European Council decided to open accession negotiations with Romania, along with six other states. Officially, the talks started in 2000; until 2006, the process was punctuated by several annual evaluations, which assessed the progress of the political, legal, institutional, and economic reforms. In April 2005, Romania and Bulgaria were deemed ready for integration and consequently were invited to sign the Treaty of Accession. Following the completion of the ratification process in all E.U. countries in November 2006, Romania became a member state of the European Union on January 1, 2007.
The E.U. membership was a huge historical achievement that dramatically changed all aspects of Romanian life. Together with the NATO membership and the Strategic Partnership with the United States, it has become the foundation of Romania's foreign policy and a source of security, development, and prosperity.
THE HISTORY OF ROMANIA IN ONE OBJECT, our online program that evokes decisive epochs in the Romanian past starting from objects with powerful symbolic and representative value, is developed in partnership with The National History Museum of Romania. Text and video presentation by historian Cristina Barbu.