EduBourseActualitésKey competences for lifelong learning in Europe: Frequently asked questions

Key competences for lifelong learning in Europe: Frequently asked questions

The Commission has adopted today a proposal for a Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council on key competences for lifelong learning. A European framework of basic skills to be provided through lifelong learning was originally requested in the Lisbon conclusions in 2000. The proposal is one of the concrete outcomes of the Education and Training 2010 work programme and aims to encourage and facilitate national reforms by providing, for the first time at the European level, a reference tool on key competences that all citizens should have for a successful life in a knowledge society. The Recommendation calls for Member States to ensure that all young people are given the possibility to develop the package of 8 key competences by the end of initial education and training and that a specific attention is paid to disadvantaged learners. In order to enable all adults to learn, maintain and update their key competences, the Recommendation calls for comprehensive infrastructures and coherent strategies, developed in collaboration with social partners and other stakeholders.

1. Why the work on key competences?

Access to information, rapid changes in the world of work and the increasing diversity of societies require different competences from all people – they need to be active, concerned, able to adapt and learn continuously. The Key Competences Framework, prepared by experts from 31 countries and European level stakeholders, will help policy makers, education and training providers, employers and learners themselves in reforming education and training systems to respond to these challenges.

The key competences are: 1) communication in the mother tongue; 2) communication in foreign languages; 3) competences in maths, science and technology; 4) digital competence; 5) learning to learn; 6) interpersonal, intercultural and social competences, and civic competence; 7) entrepreneurship; 8) cultural expression.

2. How was the selection of competences made?

First of all, competence is taken here to comprise knowledge, skills and attitudes. Key competences are those that serve for personal fulfilment, social inclusion and active citizenship and employment. They are multifunctional, transferable and pre-requisites for successful life in a knowledge society.

3. The Framework divides between a Mother Tongue and Foreign languages. What about multilingual families and societies?

The language definitions are first of all based on the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEF). It is true that in many families and communities there a lot of languages and the mother tongue may not be for instance the same as the languages spoken in the community. However, for clarity, this distinction has been done.

4. What is the difference between the EQF and this framework?

The Framework of key competences covers the essential competences that are needed for successful life in a knowledge society in personal, social spheres and for employability. The European Qualifications Framework is a tool for facilitating qualifications (and competences) to be more transparent, transferable and easier to recognise by describing eight levels of competence. The key competences are integrated into these descriptors.

5. What is the link to the work on teachers’ competences?

Many of the competences in the Framework (social, interpersonal, civic competences, entrepreneurship, learning to learn, and cultural expression) cannot be taught in ‘traditional’ ways but require new approaches in organising learning. Teachers need to work together with each other, with the local community and deal with heterogeneous groups. Obviously, teachers also need new competences and continuous learning in order to respond to these new challenges. The Commission is working with Member States on this issue with a view of proposing a Recommendation related to teacher training.
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Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Fondateur de Rente et Patrimoine (cabinet de gestion de patrimoine), Pierre Perrin-Monlouis est un analyste et trader pour compte propre. Il vous fait profiter de son expérience en trading grâce à ses analyses financières et décrypte pour vous les actualités des marchés. Son approche globale des marchés combine à la fois l'analyse technique et l'analyse fondamentale sur l'ensemble des marchés : crypto, forex, actions et matières premières.