CORE - Integration in the Centre

With the project CORE – Integration in the Centre, Vienna is creating space for innovative approaches to make it easier for refugees to live in the city from day one.

Integration offers from public institutions, organizations and civil society initiatives are brought closer together and refugees are actively involved in the development of integration offers. CORE puts people and their diverse competences at the centre, makes them experts in their own cause and thus contributes to a more participatory integration approach in Vienna.

Vienna has always been a meeting place, a place of cultural diversity. Various cultures have shaped and still shape the city and its inhabitants. Diversity can make a positive contribution to living together in the city. Integration is not only a challenge, but above all an opportunity for society. CORE, an EU-funded joint project of the Municipal Department 17 (Integration and Diversity), the Vienna Social Fund (Fonds Soziales Wien), the Vienna Employment Promotion Fund (waff), the Vienna Business Agency and the Vienna Board of Education/European Office, is the city’s catalyst for further development in the field of integration and thus contributes to making diversity in Vienna a success story.

Strengthening strengths

The project implements numerous measures to already prepare refugees for the labour market in Austria during the asylum procedure. For example, a competence recording database is being developed to document strengths and abilities from the outset and to make the best possible use of them. In addition, refugees are accompanied in career planning and prepared for exams for selected craft professions. A focus is placed on former teachers for whom own training and support programs are offered. For people who want to become self-employed, there are information events to clarify potentials and framework conditions. Support services for volunteers in refugee work will be further developed and a Housing First program will be implemented. Moreover, national and international challenges in regards to integration will be discussed in a “think tank” and forward-looking solutions will be developed.

Room for integration

With the CORE Centre in the 15th district of Vienna, CORE does not only provide space, but also the organizational infrastructure so that organizations, associations, civil society initiatives and, above all, refugees themselves can implement integration services. Within CORE, information modules are being developed to facilitate orientation in Vienna. Refugees act as experts on their own behalf: selected persons are trained as mentors who support other refugees to settle in. In the field of health promotion CORE also relies on refugees as experts. The participative approach of CORE ensures that refugees can themselves design integration offers and actively participate in the project.

Innovative approaches

CORE thus creates new integration offers that facilitate the integration of refugees in Vienna right from the start and accelerate the entire integration process. The project is closely linked to the implementation of the concept of “Integration from Day 1” of the City of Vienna, with which refugees are given perspectives starting from their first day in Vienna. Existing activities and programs for integration will be optimized in the course of CORE, oriented more towards the needs of the newcomers in Vienna and extended by innovative approaches. This closes gaps in the integration process and prepares the city for new challenges by treading new paths.

The CORE project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. The total budget is around € 6 million, with 80% funded by the European Regional Development Fund and 20% financed by the project partners’ own resources. CORE was selected from 378 submissions in autumn 2016 as one of 18 winning projects. The project runs until October 2019.


Birgit Wachter-Wallner

Project Management CORE

Municipal Departmen 17 – Integration and Diversity



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