First CORE Future Talk
Short description
In January, the first CORE “Future Talk” took place at the CORE Centre and with the focus on Hamburg’s best practice models in the field of labour market integration of the refugees. Beate Spyrou, the representative of Hamburg’s Chamber of Crafts and the project manager of Hamburg’s IQ Netzwerk, gave a presentation about Hamburg’s approach to integrating refugees into the labour market.

The “Future Talk”, which was attended by more than 50 people, received very good feedback by the attendees. The interest of the attendees  in the Future Talk became apparent during a lively discussion about the different approaches in Hamburg and Vienna/Austria, which followed the presentation.

In October, the second “Future Talk” took a look at the Swedish model for the labour market integration of immigrants and refugees. The labour market expert Joel Hellstrand reported on Sweden's labour market policies and the success factors of the Swedish model. Mr. Hellstrand showed how existing expertise in Sweden has been expanded in the context of the refugee movement and how the Swedish system for newcomers has been adapted to the specific needs of refugees.

CORE opens doors and enables meetings with neighbours 
The “Meet your neighbours” event series enables a direct exchange between refugees and Viennese citizens and thereby supports a positive view on the topic of integration. The first “Meet your neighbours” took place on World Refugee Day  -  20 June. The CORE project used this special day as an opportunity and organized a ”Milkshake Day” at the CORE Centre. Many participants in activities at the CORE Centre as well as visitors, who wanted to get to know the centre and the various activities going on there, came to sweeten their day with fruity milkshakes and snacks. 

Moreover, the CORE project used this year’s “Langer Tag der Flucht” (“Long day of Flight”), launched by UNHCR Austria, on 28 September as an opportunity to draw attention to the situation of refugees and to organize a “Meet your neighbours”. On this day, the CORE Centre was all about culinary delights: enthusiastic amateur cooks and hobby cooks with the refugee background prepared meals together. The joy of getting to know each other as well as learning new recipes and cooking traditions was great. Afterwards, during the community dinner, there was also plenty of opportunity to share personal stories and experiences in addition to cooking tips and recommendations on the ingredients. At the same time, an “Open House” event was organized on the same day, to provide  easy access to and information about CORE for refugees and also volunteers, and civil society initiatives. Already at the end of August, another “Open House” event was organized in the form of a cooking event by the participants of CORE’s Women’s Café, which enabled refugee women to get an insight into the various offers at the CORE Centre.  

CORE raises awareness and enables exchange
The aim of the "CORE & the City" event series is to raise public awareness on topics in the field of asylum and integration through panel discussions, readings etc. and to enable an exchange between the experts and the interested public. This event format includes active refugee and expert participation. At the first “CORE & the City” in October, the author Latifa Nabizada, one of Afghanistan’s first female helicopter pilots in Afghanistan, read from her autobiographical book. Latifa Nabizada, who came to Austria in December 2015, told the interested audience about her eventful life and afterwards answered numerous questions.

The second “CORE & the City” event at the end of November was dedicated to the security situation in Afghanistan. The Austrian asylum law expert Norbert Kittenberger illustrated how the security and supply situation in Afghanistan is interpreted from the perspective of the Austrian asylum authorities and the Austrian courts. The Afghanistan expert Friederike Stahlmann from Germany gave an overview on the current security and supply situation in the country as well as the humanitarian situation of returnees. In addition to these aspects, the expert discussion also addressed the question of the influence of current expert reports on the current jurisprudence regarding asylum applications of Afghan citizens in Austria. The relevance of the topic was not only shown by the high number of interested people in the audience, but also the numerous questions and the long discussions after the official end of the event. 

CORE provides platforms for foresights 
In the middle of November, the first CORE “Foresight Process” was organized, dedicated to the question of where and how integration in cities can succeed. Answers to these questions are provided by a recent study by the OECD, which was presented for the first time in Vienna in cooperation with the OECD and the Vienna University of Economics and Business by OECD experts Claire Charbit and Anna Piccinni – the authors of the study. The presentation was followed by a discussion of the Austrian experts from different fields together with Claire Charbit and Anna Piccinni. During this reflection the particular role of the cities in the integration process and Vienna’s performance in this field was discussed.

Also in 2019, a number of public events will be organized within the framework of CORE. The main topics of these events are defined according to the needs and interests of the target groups. Amongst others, a “Foresight process” with focus on EU asylum policy, an expert panel discussion on the portrayal of refugees in the media and a “Meet your neighbours”, which puts the creative talents of the CORE participants into the spotlight, are planned.