Lesson 1: The EU Council Recommendation on Key competences for lifelong learning

In May 2018 the Council of the European Union adopted a recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning. The recommendation identifies eight key competences essential to citizens for personal fulfilment, a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, employability, active citizenship and social inclusion. The recommendation is a reference tool for education and training stakeholders, which sets up a common understanding of competences needed nowadays and in the future. Among them is digital competence.

Following the Council Recommendation “Digital competence involves the confident, critical and responsible use of, and engagement with, digital technologies for learning, at work, and for participation in society. It includes information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), safety (including digital well-being and competences related to cybersecurity), intellectual property related questions, problem solving and critical thinking.”

The Recommendation also foresees the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes related to this competence, as follows:


Individuals should take a critical approach to the validity, reliability and impact of information and data made available by digital means and be aware of the legal and ethical principles involved in engaging with digital technologies


Individuals should possess digital technology skills for active citizenship, social inclusion, collaboration, and creativity, managing information, data, and identities, and effectively engaging with software, devices, artificial intelligence, or robots


Engaging with digital technologies necessitates a critical, open minded, and ethical approach, while also fostering curiosity and a forward-looking perspective on their evolution

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the National Agency and Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.