Key competences recommendations of the Council of the European Union from 2018

On the 22nd of May 2018 the Council of the European Union adopted the new recommendations on eight key competences for lifelong learning. It has thereby update the guidance published in 2006 and adapted the competences to the continuously-changing situation of contemporary Europe. As defined by the Council, the key competences are essential to citizens for personal fulfilment, a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, employability, active citizenship and social inclusion (1). They are therefore important elements for all individuals, which influence the most crucial aspects of their everyday lives and future. The recommendations of the Council serve as a point of reference to policymakers and stakeholders and should be applied in the education policies of the member states.

Key competences adopted in 2018

In the light of constant changes in the contemporary world, the Council replaced the recommendations from 2006. As the most important knowledge, skills and attitudes of today’s citizens, the institution indicated the following:

1. Literacy competence
2. Multilingual competence
3. Mathematical competence and competence in science, technology and engineering
4. Digital competence
5. Personal, social and learning to learn competence
6. Citizenship competence
7. Entrepreneurship competence
8. Cultural awareness and expression competence

Nowadays, the most important key competence is literacy, defined by the Council as “ability to identify, understand, express, create, and interpret concepts, feelings, facts and opinions in both oral and written forms, using visual, sound/audio and digital materials across disciplines and contexts” (2). Literacy replaced the compentece of communicating in a mother tongue which in the previous recommendations was considered the most essential one.

More information can be found in the sources:

  2. Council Recommendation of 22 May 2018 on the key competences for lifelong learning
  3. Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning

Source of the picture: European Commission

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