Albania – an undiscovered beauty

Crystal-clear water, long beaches, canyons in which geologists would rejoice, cultural highlights dating back more than 2500 years, local food which can compete with gourmet restaurants, uncountable olive trees, serene landscapes and lakes that ask for silence and contemplation, people who make you feel like a king in their home… you wonder, if you are really in Albania, a country quite unknown to most of us.

Albania – or Republika e Shqipërisë in the country language – covers an area of about 28,000 km² (roughly one third of Austria) and has appr. 3 Mio inhabitants. Surrounded by Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece it can also offer a coast line of roughly 300km.

As the Albanian Daily News stated in its July 7th edition, “agribusiness is a vital sector of Albania’s economy. It provides employment for around 50% of the population and accounts for around 20% of the country’s GDP”. It justifies the Albanian Agribusiness Support Facility, a financial instrument, which is supported by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, thus providing loans to accelerate investments and improvements in this sector.

While there are still a lot of remains from the Enver Hoxha regime, which lasted 40 years – e.g. the ever present bunkers, spread over the whole country, we can enjoy excavations in Butrint, admire the UNESCO cities Berat and Gjirokastër and encounter donkeys instead of trucks or trailers as a means of transportation.

Faleminderit & Mirupafshim!

Elisabeth Hönigsberger

The Estonian Minister of Rural Affairs awarded the best graduates of rural economy

Photograph: Angelika Lebedev

A reception for the best graduates of rural economy VET schools, the Estonian University of Life Sciences and Tallinn University of Technology Institute of Chemistry and Biology was held on 27th of June at the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs.

20 best graduates received the Minister of Rural Affairs letter of thanks this year.

You have taken the best knowledge from your school and you have all advantages to succeed in life and work” said Tarmo Tamm, the Minister of Rural Affairs. “I want you to make wise choices and I hope you will find the opportunity to link your future and work with Estonia. Your thoughts and deeds shape the future of Estonian state.”

Congratulations to all graduates of rural economy!

More photos from the reception

Räpina School of Horticulture is gathering all friends again!


It has been 4 years since Räpina School of Horticulture invited schools and kindergartens to grow tomato plants and enjoyed the fruit of red and yellow tomatoes.

This year in January, the plant growing project started to roll again. This time whole of Estonia is competing at growing peas. The project is called “Sõprusetera” (The gist of friendship). At the end of January more than 500 groups registered including one group from Latvia for the participation. More than 9500 people from all education levels are involved with the project.

The aim of the project is to get to know about a plant called Pisum sativum, how it looks, how to grow peas from seeds etc. Next objective is to prioritize Estonian varieties and plant breeding, also natural recycling and care.

During the project, all participants can attend to digital quiz, create digital diary as a blog and take part in several contests. Check some blogs out!

Gardening students of Räpina School of Horticulture will do the experiment along, create videos and give suggestions for growing peas.

The project will finish at the beginning of May.

The slogan of the project is:
“Get wise with the gist of wisdom,
get friend with the gist of friendship!”

Official announcement – Agrolympics will come again!

On 1st March 2017 the Saxon Minister of Agriculture, Thomas Schmidt, officially announced in a press conference that the 2nd European Agrolympics will be held in Burgstaedt from 28th September to 1st October 2017. After welcoming the guests and the media Gerd Alscher, headmaster of the Fachschulzentrum Freiberg-Zug, NC of EUROPEA Germany, introduced this competition by presenting facts and pictures about EUROPEA and from the first Agrolympics in Luxembourg. The Minister said that he has been very pleased about this initiative and that his Ministry decided to support this event financially. As he said the Agrolympics will fit very well in the Saxon Thanksgiving Celebration which will take place in Burgstaedt at the same weekend. In his opinion such a competition is an excellent way to show the public how interesting, attractive and varied the agricultural work is. He expressed his hope that young people will get more interested in learning an agricultural profession after seeing the different teams competing in these challenging “Olympic” games. Thomas Schmidt agreed in taking over the patronage of the 2nd Agrolympics and said that he will be very happy to welcome the teams from all over Europe on 29th September and to open the games. He added that he is sure that all participants will go back home with a very good impression of the host country Saxony and the people living here.

In the discussion following the statements Gerd Alscher explained the media representatives that the Agrolympics will be prepared by students of his college, supported by another agricultural school. Many partners were already found, first of all the Rider´s association “St. George” Burgstaedt which offered its territory and riding hall for the competition. Gerd Alscher is optimistic that the 2nd Agrolympics are going to be very successful.

Gerd Alcher


Student Floristry Skill Competition in Slovakia

21st and 22nd October were big days at EUROPEA Family. During these active times students presented their professional skills at floristry competition. Competition theme was “Thank Giving for Harvest”. 20 teams from 12 different countries were competing against each other.

During the competition teams had to make two different works which were a wreath on door and a room decoration on pot. Given materials were inspired by autumn and harvest. The organisers provided the teams with all the necessary materials and tools for the competition. Students of “Rakovice Secondary Agricultural School” gathered most of the materials for settings from nature, which was mainly pure and main source of inspiration.

However, there were no technical stipulations for settings. Students could use all given materials, guide the topic and type of works. Everyone could use their own fantasy and handwriting. Only limiting factor was time.

For students it was exciting to look, how competitors from different countries were using same type of materials to create same type of setting. Floristry competition was organised very well! Students didn’t have to deal with stress or high tension. “We were competing but we took the competition as creatively as possible” – said Estonian team-members. “We didn’t come here to win, but get experiences, compare skills to other colleagues and find friends for life”.

After long long day winners where called out! 🙂

1st place: Terézia Heltková a Juraj Bocian, Rakovice, Slovakia
2nd place: Magali Egger a Deana Ebener, CPLN Cernier, CFPneLullier, Switzerland
3rd place: Kristína Jarábková a Timotej Gajdoš, Rakovice, Slovakia

Congratulations to winners and all participants!

Many thanks to organisers!

students at floristry competition exhibition of floristry competition settings
Estonian team making the door wreath. Photographed by Marek Jakobi Competition is closed! The settings are placed in the exhibition, just waiting for the results… Photographed by Kalle Toom