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European Education Area

Quality education and training for all

Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning

Key competences

The European Commission works with EU Member States to support and reinforce the development of key competences and basic skills for all, from an early age and throughout life. Key competences include knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed by all for personal fulfilment and development, employability, social inclusion and active citizenship. 

The approach is to promote key competences by: 

  • Providing high-quality education, training and lifelong learning for all
  • Supporting educational staff in implementing competence-based teaching and learning approaches 
  • Encouraging a variety of learning approaches and contexts for continued learning
  • Exploring approaches to assess and validate key competences

What is being done 

The Council has adopted a Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning based on a Commission proposal. The Recommendation identifies eight key competences needed for personal fulfilment, a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, employability, active citizenship and social inclusion: 

•    Literacy 
•    Multilingualism
•    Numerical, scientific and engineering skills 
•    Digital and technology-based competences
•    Interpersonal skills, and the ability to adopt new competences 
•    Active citizenship 
•    Entrepreneurship 
•    Cultural awareness and expression 

The Council Recommendation provides a common European reference framework on key competences for policymakers, education and training providers, social partners and learners themselves. It also presents successful ways to promote competence development through innovative learning approaches, assessment methods and support for educational staff.