GENERAL ASSEMBLY: NO UPHEAVALS
The Annual General Assembly in Lisbon was one of the conference events not to be missed; it took place on Friday October 8th in the auditorium of the Lisbon Hotel and Tourism School, and brought together the delegates from each country and VIPs including Bernardo Trindade (Secretary of State for Tourism), Nuno Santos and Theodor Siegl.
On the platform were AEHT President Klaus Enengl flanked by his Vice-Presidents Ana Paula Pais, Neeme Rand, Louis Robert, Bogusława Pienkowska, Hans Russegger, Annie Collinet and General Secretary Nadine Schintgen. The President greeted the Assembly and began by praising the high quality of the organisation of every aspect of this Lisbon Conference.
Bernardo Trindade expressed his pleasure that we had chosen Lisbon as the Conference venue, and began by pointing out that tourism in Portugal represented many jobs; it was a fast-developing sector thanks to the high quality standards. He also informed his audience that since 2005 Portugal had created five new schools offering 3,000 student places to date. He expressed his desire to see exchanges develop, and thanked the AEHT for bringing its Annual Conference to Lisbon.
The accuracy of the minutes of the Dubrovnik General Assembly in 2009 was put to the vote and unanimously approved. Klaus Enengl warmly thanked the organisers of the Lisbon conference, adding that the organisation was truly exceptional. He also repeated that for the competitions, only those students fluent in English or French were accepted. Moreover the next Annual Conference would run from Monday to Saturday, thus enabling the participants to take a day's rest on Sunday before resuming work or study.
Turning to ‘Gastronomy for Peace' from which the proceeds last year had been donated to L'Aquila (Italy), Klaus asserted that the same procedure would apply this year, 'even if we have not yet decided on a beneficiary for this year'.
The President spoke of the excellent relationship we had with the ACCOR Group, and the Presidium's intention to extend this collaboration to the Starwood Group, in order to attempt to satisfy the numerous requests for placements in English-speaking environments. He also mentioned a very well organised seminar in Switzerland on Higher Education which had been highly successful.
Turning to another matter, Klaus thanked the outgoing Vice-President Annie Collinet, shortly to retire from her school post; he evoked her ’16 year love affair with the AEHT’, and presented her with the traditional gift, before asking her successor Herman Siebens to introduce himself.
Several other matters were raised by the President, among them:
- The redesign of the AEHT website thanks to the efforts of Neeme Rand and his computer assistant Ahti Paju;
- The submission of projects to the EU Commission as part of the ‘Youth in Action' programme;
- The ‘Youth Parliament’ which would take place for the first time in Bad Ischl with 30 students from 14 schools; the project will be reviewed after this first sitting and may become an annual event.
Norbert Richartz, the AEHT’s accountant, who has brought his excellent accounting skills to support the treasurer, was also presented with a gift since he will be definitively leaving this role.
Barbara Burtin, representing the International Organisation of French-Speaking Countries (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, OIF) gave a speech in which she explained that the OIF has a presence in 50 countries and brings together 200 million speakers. This year is the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the OIF; it focuses on culture, sustainable development, democracy and education. Barbara spoke of a project involving six Eastern European countries, and gave the example of 400 Albanian students who were taking classes in food preparation and service geared to the needs of French tourists. She concluded by urging her audience to look closely at the documents she had brought with her (see Interviews and Meetings section of this report).
FINANCESAs far as finances are concerned, the Treasurer Hans Russegger announced the exclusion of 31 members, the resignation of 10 members and the arrival of 20 new members. There were 12 abstentions in the vote to approve the exclusions.
As for the balance sheet, from the 2009 budget of €130,000 there was a net loss of €7,644, there being a reserve of €130,000 and the subsidy of €20,800 from the Luxembourg government. Hans announced on the other hand that the 2010 budget was better balanced and ‘wasn’t looking too bad’, with €110,000 of annual subscriptions already in the bank.
Jürgen Clausen and Danièle Snauwaert, the auditors, had examined the accounts on September 15th in Diekirch and found them to be accurate. Jürgen Clausen therefore asked the treasurer to confirm the satisfactory discharge of his duties, and thanked Norbert Richartz for his hard work. When a vote was taken the satisfactory discharge was recognised, despite 11 abstentions. The two auditors were again asked to continue their duties for another year.
At its meeting on October 7th the Executive Board had had to elect a new Vice-President to replace Annie Collinet who had to resign from the role because of her retirement from her post in her French school. The Board had elected Herman Siebens. Klaus Enengl raised the matter of this election and asked the General Assembly to ratify the result. The election result was approved unanimously except for three abstentions.
COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Jürgen Clausen, as a member of the ‘Council of Elders’, provided the meeting with some information: the Council has been in existence for three years and has – for the moment – five members. Its most important objective at present was to set up new competitions intended for students from Higher Education institutions. In 2011 there will be a new seminar for hospitality management teachers. 'Two colleagues will be preparing the competition for next year,’ he added, ‘and we will be working hard on further developing our Association’.
A whole series of future events were described by the President and various contributors:
Faro, flavours and films, April 6th-8th 2011
Giulianova, reception competition and city tourism, May 5th-8th 2011
Castel San Pietro Terme, Bartolomeo Scappi contest, April 4th-7th 2011
Riolo Terme, competition entitled ‘Il piatto verde (the green plate) – herbs and witches’, three days in March 2011
Loreto, G. Rossini contest
Oristano-Cabras, Sardinia, seminar entitled ‘Dining with the Nuraghe People’ in April 2011
Alassio, Claudio Ventimiglia Trophy for Food and Wine, May 3rd-6th 2011
Supetar on the island of Brač near Split, national competition, April 17th-20th 2011
Dubrovnik, seminar on ‘Ston Oysters’, March 16th-20th 2011
Azores, Atlantic Chocolate Festival, December 9th-11th 2011
Bled, Slovenia, bar contest, April 1st
Slovakia, Eurocup 2011 bartender contest, October/November
Ireland – Seminar for hospitality management teachers in April 2011.
Christmas in Europe
2010 – December 2nd-8th in Ponta Delgada in the Azores (there are still places for two or three more schools)
2011 – Greece – Probably in Rhodes.
In 2011 at The Hagu
Natalia Komanicka, the AEHT’s interpreter, also took the floor to give a rapid report on the VIRTEX project; the finally Klaus Enengl took the opportunity to offer his warm thanks, and a present, to Nadine Schintgen for all her work, including ‘120% dedication and a great passion for the AEHT’. And to conclude proceedings, he sincerely thanked those present for their attention.