social and civic competences social and civic competences

As defined in the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning (2006/962/EC):

These include personal, interpersonal and intercultural competence and cover all forms of behaviour that equip
individuals to participate in an effective and constructive way in social and working life, and particularly in
increasingly diverse societies, and to resolve conflict where necessary. Civic competence equips individuals to fully
participate in civic life, based on knowledge of social and political concepts and structures and a commitment to active
and democratic participation.

Essential knowledge, skills and attitudes related to this competence:
A. Social competence is linked to personal and social well-being which requires an understanding of how
individuals can ensure optimum physical and mental health, including as a resource for oneself and one's family
and one's immediate social environment, and knowledge of how a healthy lifestyle can contribute to this. For
successful interpersonal and social participation it is essential to understand the codes of conduct and manners
generally accepted in different societies and environments (e.g. at work). It is equally important to be aware of
basic concepts relating to individuals, groups, work organisations, gender equality and non-discrimination,
society and culture. Understanding the multi-cultural and socio-economic dimensions of European societies and
how national cultural identity interacts with the European identity is essential.
The core skills of this competence include the ability to communicate constructively in different environments,
to show tolerance, express and understand different viewpoints, to negotiate with the ability to create
confidence, and to feel empathy. Individuals should be capable of coping with stress and frustration and
expressing them in a constructive way and should also distinguish between the personal and professional
The competence is based on an attitude of collaboration, assertiveness and integrity. Individuals should have an
interest in socio-economic developments and intercultural communication and should value diversity and
respect others, and be prepared both to overcome prejudices and to compromise.

B. Civic competence is based on knowledge of the concepts of democracy, justice, equality, citizenship, and civil
rights, including how they are expressed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and
international declarations and how they are applied by various institutions at the local, regional, national,
European and international levels. It includes knowledge of contemporary events, as well as the main events and
trends in national, European and world history. In addition, an awareness of the aims, values and policies of
social and political movements should be developed. Knowledge of European integration and of the EU's
structures, main objectives and values is also essential, as well as an awareness of diversity and cultural identities
in Europe.

Skills for civic competence relate to the ability to engage effectively with others in the public domain, and to
display solidarity and interest in solving problems affecting the local and wider community. This involves critical
and creative reflection and constructive participation in community or neighbourhood activities as well as
decision-making at all levels, from local to national and European level, in particular through voting.
Full respect for human rights including equality as a basis for democracy, appreciation and understanding of
differences between value systems of different religious or ethnic groups lay the foundations for a positive
attitude. This means displaying both a sense of belonging to one's locality, country, the EU and Europe in general
and to the world, and a willingness to participate in democratic decision-making at all levels. It also includes
demonstrating a sense of responsibility, as well as showing understanding of and respect for the shared values
that are necessary to ensure community cohesion, such as respect for democratic principles. Constructive
participation also involves civic activities, support for social diversity and cohesion and sustainable
development, and a readiness to respect the values and privacy of others.