Better Knowledge - Action 1: Mainstreaming EU Digital Competence Framework for citizens into daily use

  • Cristina (Commu... profile
    Cristina (Commu...
    5 February 2018 - updated 4 months ago
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Information and communication technologies have changed the everyday life of people, administrations, businesses and society as a whole during the last two decades. Development of these technologies has increasingly digitalised various domains of life and work, making innovation, growth and even participation in different sectors of today’s increasingly digitalised society and economy possible only when possessing sufficient digital skills. Digital competence is the so-called 21st century skill – a universal and basic need for all citizens for working, living and learning in the knowledge society. Digital competence - the ability to use digital technologies - should be acquired by all citizens to enable their active participation in society and the economy. 

To improve EU citizens’ digital competence, European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (also known as DigComp) was first developed by the Commission in 2013; the latest update to the framework was available from May 2017. DigComp user guide will be available in April 2018. It includes actual cases of DigComp use. DigComp offers a tool to improve citizen's digital competence for work and employability, learning, leisure, consumption and participation in society. The DigComp framework describes what digital competence is and groups the competences in five areas according to proficiency levels: Information and data literacy, Communication and collaboration, Digital content creation, Safety and Problem solving. Today, being digitally competent means that people need to have competences in each of these five areas.

The problem is that European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens is not yet in universal use by citizens, employers and employees alike – there is insufficient awareness and use of the tool, even though it has been included since summer 2015 onwards in, for example, the Europass CV online tool for jobseekers to self-evaluate their digital competence and describe and include it in their Curriculum Vitae. It remains similarly underused by employers in elaborating and offering training programmes to employees to increase their competences based on the framework (reference). European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens is being implemented in several Member States, but in a limited scope. For example, it is applied in special sectors (e.g. teaching profession), by single ministries or within limited projects. DigComp is not yet the universal tool used by neither by all nor majority of employers or citizens in EU.


To promote DigComp it is necessary to examine how existing and developing National Digitalization and Digital competence strategies address the identified components of the framework- privacy, security, etc.

Regular and consistent campaigns need to be done for awareness raising to illustrate the need of each person to increase her/his digital capacities to stay competitive in today’s increasingly digital economy and society.

Access to all EU Citizens and stakeholders for Elaboration of the free online Self Diagnosis Tool for assessing one's level of digital competence based on the DigComp framework – a tool to evaluate in a simple manner and in citizens’ national languages one's skills to facilitate the job search and identify training needs.

Level of governance: all levels (EU, Member states, local level).


Mapping of level of digital skills based on the instruments and components within Digital competence framework. Mapping on the existing training and educational programs and their alignment with the framework. Awareness raising campaigns.


This action requires the involvement of different levels of government and broad network of stakeholders. In collaboration with employers’ and employees’ unions, trade unions and other socio-economic partners in various Member States information will be collected and assessed regarding not only the needs but also opportunities for additional training. Based on this map further campaigns will be designed, and additional training opportunities will be supported where needed. To cope with the challenging, work the partnership will use the existing networks and partners to assist with the implementation. Digital transition action plan will also take into account collaboration possibilities with the Jobs and Skills partnership.


  • Preparation: Q2-Q3- 2018.
  • Implementation: Q1-Q2 2019.
  • Assessment: Q3-2019.

Action leader

Estonia, Sofia.




See also: