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AC 2023
Slide 1
AC 2023
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The AEHT annual general assembly took place according to schedule during the 18th Annual Conference in Antalya/Kemer on October 26th 2005. There were no surprises during these three hours which are an essential part of an association’s life.

Alfonso Benvenuto, flanked by his team, greeted the numerous members present in the hall in the basement of the Kemer Resort Hotel, before getting straight down to business – starting with the approval of the minutes of the previous annual general assembly in Bled

The AEHT Presidium takes its place on the platform
The AEHT Presidium takes its place on the platform

In his presidential report he emphasised the rich variety of the AEHT’s life which manifested itself in the seminars and other activities. In reviewing the ‘public’ represented by the AEHT he recalled, while greeting the promoters present at the meeting, the ECAI ‘student of the year’ competitions and the ‘Pro-Terris’ and ‘Virtex’ projects. In addition Alfonso Benvenuto appealed to national representatives to organise meetings and events in their own countries. ‘We need your advice,’ he said, ‘your total participation, but we also need the support of politicians. We need to make sure that people are acquainted with the abilities of our students because tourism is a factor for world peace. We have the freedom and the strength to create a new life in Europe …’

View of the participants in the fine ball-room
View of the participants in the fine ball-room

Alfonso Benvenuto next mentioned that this was the start of the third year of his presidential mandate and that thus elections would be coming up in 2006; he handed over to Nadine Schintgen who explained the practical arrangements for the elections, consisting of voting for new national representatives next spring (please see the AEHT website for details).

Reports from the Vice-presidents

Louis Robert, vice-president responsible for fixed events, gave a brief account of those which had been organised: the Annual Conference, Christmas in Europe, the Festivals of Gastronomy in Venice and Budapest.
He thanked the Turkish team who gave their country a modern and up-to-date image, and informed the meeting that the next Annual Conference would take place in Killarney, Ireland. Louis Robert of course also mentioned Christmas in Europe and the seminar on sport and health in Faro, as well as his participation in a conference in Lima, Peru, where the representatives from other continents had shown a great interest in how the AEHT operates.
Finally he raised again the subject of the ‘Gastronomy for Peace’ project which had been launched in Copenhagen and which had thus far created little interest despite a few events which had enabled the project to collect the respectable sum of 17,000 euros which had been handed over to Handicap International at a ceremony held in Luxembourg. This event, recognised by UNESCO, should enable the AEHT to acquire NGO status and to use the UNESCO logo, once negotiations had been completed.

He also mentioned the ECAI competitions – a pilot scheme – before announcing the calendar of future annual conferences, as follows:

  • 9th Annual Conference in 2006 Killarney (Irlande/Ireland)
  • 20th Annual Conference in 2007 Jesolo Lido (Italie/Italy)
  • 21th Annual Conference in 2008 (Estonie/Estonia)
  • 22th Annual Conference in 2009 Dubrovnik (Croatie/Croatia)
  • 23th Annual Conference in 2010 (Islande/Iceland) (to be confirmed)
  • 24th Annual Conference in 2011 Portugal
  • 25th Annual Conference in 2012 Grèce/Greece

Christmas in Europe would take place in 2005 in Portugal, in 2006 in Sweden and in 2007 in Austria.

Boguslawa Pienkowska, vice-president responsible for teacher placements, gave statistics relating to the placements, for of all for English-speaking countries where nine teachers has been placed in Jurys Doyle units in Dublin (6), PremGroup units in Dublin (2) and an ECAI unit in Ireland (1). These placements had been made possible thanks to Mary Owens and John Rees Smith who had made the arrangements. Of the 16 applications received, 13 had been forwarded by Sibylle Schoch, the ACCOR placements officer, who had been unable to satisfy the requests because of the small number of ACCOR units in Ireland and the United Kingdom. It is hoped that further places would be made available in future.

Vice-president Michel Gaillot in turn gave a report on the ACCOR placements which had been particularly successful – around 50 teachers had been placed, and the arrangements were handled by Sibylle Schoch; Michel spoke highly of Sibylle’s efficiency and announced that she would be taking on the operation again for a further year. He also expressed the wish that higher education should receive a higher profile. Building on the success of the Paris symposium which had brought together around 30 participants, he intends to launch competitions for higher education students in the coming years. ‘Higher Education does not have a sufficiently high profile in the AEHT, and it is a shame that Germany is not present. I should like to see an end to the veto in this area.’

The proposal was submitted to the vote and was approved unanimously by acclamation.

Adolf Steindl, vice-president in charge of seminars and occasional events, thanked all the organisers, the participants, the general secretary and the treasurer for their contribution to the 12 events of the past year, which took place in the following locations: Ravenna (2), Cingoli, Faro, Kolobreg, Giulianova, Treviso, Split, Presov, Dubrovnik and Paris. Moreover he mentioned several upcoming seminars at the Barilla Academy and the Alma Academy’s membership of the AEHT. For 2006, Adolf Steindl enumerated the various seminars already being planned, giving the organisers the opportunity to present the programmes. Maribor: pumpkin seed oil, Faro: 3rd international festival of sport and health, concentrating on golf (22nd-26th February), Nice: Europe, hotels and tourism (30th March-2nd April), Gliwice: Jewish and Silesian cookery (10th-14th April), Cingoli: chicken and flambé work (19th and 20th February), Rzeszov: seminar for teachers (September/October), Skt. Johann: foreign languages (27th – 30th April), Croatia: Gastro 2006 (dates to be fixed), Bonneville: Bresse poultry (16th-21st December 2005).

Adolf Steindl reminded the meeting that the AEHT pays €160 per person direct to the organisers. He added that he had taken retirement on 1st September from his post of director of the Bad Leonfelden school, though would remain in his AEHT post until the end of his mandate in 2006.

Neeme Rand, vice president in charge of promotion of the AEHT, reported on his missions in November 2004 to Maastricht and in January 2005 to Helsinki; he plans to create a ‘main list’ to encourage the membership to feel more involved, and will be making the web site more attractive, with the inclusion of a forum for exchanges of views. For financial reasons all schools from European Union countries are now excluded from the list of those who are entitled to AEHT bursaries for students attending the annual conference. Only students from the following ten countries are eligible: Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro and the Ukraine. One last point: the budget for Leonardo da Vinci projects will be doubled during the next project period 2007-2013.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Hans Russegger gave a broad outline of the 2004 budget which shows that expenditure amounted to 164,000 €, and that 47,000 € had had to be drawn from reserves in order to balance this budget. The number of paying members has levelled off but the level of activity has increased, which partly explains this imbalance. However expenditure has been reduced and it is necessary to proceed to a review of the way in which subsidies are allocated. He recommends an increase in the annual subscription from 250€ to 270€ (there has been no increase in the subscription for eight years) and he also appeals for members to try to recruit professional members.
As for the current year’s budget (for 2005), there is a positive trend: the arrival of around 40 new members, fewer exclusions and few resignations. Finally the amount of travel undertaken by the Executive Board and the Presidium will be reduced.

Danielle Snauwaert, auditor of the accounts, carried out an audit of the accounts together with Jürgen Klausen at the AEHT head office and reported that they had found ‘that the accounts were kept in a transparent and accurate manner’. They recommend that sums held on deposit should be made to attract more interest.

For the 2006 budget forecast Hans Russegger anticipates an income of 92,000€ from subscription payments for a total amount in expenditure and income of 123,380€.

The accounts are adopted unanimously and by acclamation, and the two accounts auditors have agreed to undertake their task for a further year.
After a welcome coffee break came the last part of the financial section, with a report on membership statistics, as follows: four resignations, 11 exclusions and 42 new members, bringing the total of the present membership to around 400 … of which 121 are Italian schools!

Klaus takes over from Hans

Alfonso Benvenuto next informed the assembly of the resignation of Hans Russegger who had been AEHT treasurer for 14 years. In a few warm words the president thanked Hans from the bottom of his heart for his voluntary work in the service of the AEHT. He then introduced Hans’ successor, Klaus Enengl, the director of the Bad Ischl hotel school where Hans is a teacher. This choice of successor will enable the two men to exchange information easily since they are close to each other.
Klaus Enengl informed the assembly of Hans’ inestimable contribution to his school. ‘He is Mr AEHT in Austria ... I will do my best and it will be easy for me since Hans works closely with me.’ This model hand-over was enthusiastically applauded by the assembly.

Martha Hubbard, a teacher from the Ametikol in Kuressaare, was then called upon to present the VIRTEX (Virtual Experiences) project; and the 2004/2005 Activities Report (somewhat forgotten) was adopted unanimously.

Under the Christmas in Europe item Christiane Keller also known as ‘Mother Christmas’ thanked all those who over the last 12 years had taken on the organisation of Christmas in Europe. She briefly outlined to the meeting the arrangements for this magnificent event, during which the host school ‘shows how it is open to the rest of the world and to the rich tapestry of different traditions’ … This event builds bridges large and small.’ In 2006 it will be in Örebro (Sweden), in 2007 in Semmering (Austria), in 2008 in Château-Chinon (France) (to be confirmed).

Ana Paula Pais, speaking on behalf of the Portuguese team, announced that Christmas in Europe 2005 would take place in Fundão from 2nd to 7th December, in collaboration with the Coimbra school. 17 schools from 12 countries would be taking part in an event in which the whole town and the region would be participating. ‘Many thanks to the AEHT for offering this activity to us’, Ana Paola concluded.

The 19th Annual Conference in KILLARNEY/ IRELAND

Speaking on behalf of the Irish team, Mary Owens presented the next annual conference in Killarney, using video projection to show this particularly attractive part of the west of Ireland.
The meeting saw the magnificent landscapes, the accommodation arrangements and the transport options with three airports (Cork, Shannon, Kerry). Mary Owens emphasised the low fares offered by the budget airlines which fly to these airports, enabling us to cut our travelling expenses if we reserve well in advance. She also announced that the cost of attending the conference had already been reduced thanks to a subsidy from the Irish Ministry of Tourism, and could be further reduced by sponsorship. She concluded by thanking the team which was already hard at work on next year’s Killarney conference.

the Irish team turns out – they have their work cut out!
the Irish team turns out – they have their work cut out!

Under Any Other Business Jolanta Harris-Pawloswska from the Rzeszov school in Poland lamented the high cost of these ‘luxury conventions’ and asked that an effort be made to reduce the price of them. Adolf Steindl responded that many people are of a like mind and we must return to our roots. But there are a hundred and one ways of finding money to finance at least part of the trip: co-financing by students’ parents, outside catering earnings, using budget airlines, etc. Alfonso Benvenuto endorsed this view, saying with a smile ‘We must take steps to look for … and find … funding for attending the annual conference’.

His was almost the last word as the President then declared the meeting closed while urging the participants to visit the AEHT shop. Another way of making a little money here and there!

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