Manifesto for Enhancing Digital Competences Across Europe • ALL DIGITAL
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Manifesto for Enhancing Digital Competences Across Europe

28 Apr, 2021

See new Manifesto version (2022)  in English in .pdf

See Manifesto (2021 version) in English in .pdf


Digital competences are essential to how we live, learn and work. The confident and critical use of digital technology
is key to supporting lifelong learning, active citizenship, employability, and inclusion. Citizens can wield their
digital competences to access information and support, access new learning and employment opportunities, be creative and
entrepreneurial, find new opportunities and to help others.

To deliver on this potential ALL DIGITAL has worked with our network of digital competence centres and stakeholders on a
new version of the ‘Manifesto for enhancing digital competences in Europe’.

The Manifesto sets out key principles and recommendations on how to maximise the impact of education and training in
digital competences for all European citizens.

Digital skills and jobs are a key action area in the EU’s digital strategy (2019 – 2024) and the 2030 Digital
supported by a variety of initiatives announced as part of the European Skills
, European Education Area and Digital Education Action Plan. The Manifesto seeks to
contribute to dialogue, implementation, and co-operation on these and other actions to deliver Europe’s digital
future; its realisation is a strategic priority of ALL DIGITAL.

At the core of the Manifesto is the belief that education and training in digital competences in Europe must become more
consistent and cohesive.

The Manifesto calls on EU institutions, Member States, and stakeholder organisations, as well as ALL DIGITAL and its
members, to take action and find new ways to co-operate at EU, national, regional and local level to deliver on the
ambition of this Manifesto.

This Manifesto includes key principles and recommendations under 5 main areas:


1. The education and training offer


Relevant Education and training in digital competences should be
designed to reflect the needs of people, the labour market and society
. Course content must
be underpinned by instructional design and skills intelligence on new and emerging trends in jobs and
sectors that deliver relevant, personalised learning opportunities.

Holistic Digital competences must be understood and developed in
combination with other key competences
, such as entrepreneurial and ‘green’ competences,
that are essential for ‘personal fulfilment, a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, employability, active
citizenship, and social inclusion’ [Source]. Digital competence courses must
provide a holistic training experience, including competences to support employability and career
progression as well as key skills for life such as communication and collaboration.
should also promote the importance of ethics, sustainability and safety as key aspects of digital

Transforming Digital competence education and training must continually
evolve in line with the digital transformation of our society and economy.
This evolution
will enable more inclusive education and training systems and labour markets as well as innovation and

Lifelong Digital competence development should be recognised as part of
lifelong learning pathways across formal, non-formal and informal learning settings.ALL DIGITAL welcomes the action announced by the EU Commission to explore use of Individual Learning Accounts. Such accounts could offer a viable way to support
the adult workforce to access financial support and accumulate training rights. It is essential
that Individual Learning Accounts support development of non-formal learning, including digital

Creative Digital education and training should encourage the development of
competencies needed to create quality digital content, such as computer code or
multimedia story. This would strengthen citizens’ ability to become active participants
in creating solutions for social challenges and power users of new creative opportunities. Both
producers and users of digital content must be equipped with the skills of critical thinking and
attitudes of responsible content sharing
, which is the essence of media literacy as one of
the key competencies in a digital society.

Access to education and training



Citizens must be afforded every opportunity, support, and
encouragement to improve their digital competences.

There should be sufficient provision of education and training in the
market to meet demand, including through access to open digital platforms, courses or resources. In
addition, citizens must be able to shape the pace and form of their learning pathways to ensure they
can complete and benefit from the learning.


Differing learning approaches (blended, on-line, in-person), learning
styles (visual, interactive), and learning settings (classrooms, workplace) must be accommodated in
the design and delivery of education and training to reflect how people live, learn and work.

ALL DIGITAL welcomes the action announced by the EU Commission to develop a
European approach to micro-credentials. A single European approach would
greatly enable the recognition and portability of digital competence certificates issued after
shorter duration courses. For this reason, the European approach to micro-credentials must
consider the role of digital competence centres and certification organisations.


Design and delivery of education and training in digital
competences must respect cultural diversity and expression, demonstrate ethical behaviour and
not discriminate on any basis (e.g., age, race, gender, financial condition,

Such education and training must ensure equality of opportunity for both
women and men and address under-representation of women in STEM. Policy makers and providers must
consider the specific needs of disadvantaged groups (including migrants, NEET, older persons, the
low-skilled, disabled people, detainees, and LGBTQ+) and those in disadvantaged urban or rural


The design of online learning content must adhere to web accessibility
standards and principles of universal design, ensuring that senior citizens and people with
disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, communicate, and contribute to the better learning
experience. Lifelong learning programmes in digital inclusion centres should increase the
readiness of vulnerable social groups for the new “digital by default” policy of public service
The effective use of digital assistive technologies would facilitate the
social inclusion of the most vulnerable and improve their quality of life.


3. Quality of education and training



Digital competences are fundamental to delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights, including the first
principle which states the right of everyone to ‘quality and inclusive education, training and
life-long learning’. Education and training in digital competences must be underpinned by quality
assurance. Providers should adhere to quality standards, guidelines, and reference
frameworks to ensure quality of content, processes and learner experience
. European
digital competence frameworks (such as DigComp, DigCompEdu, e-CF, etc.) can be used in conjunction with quality assurance tools to design
courses and services without limiting experimentation and innovation, when needed.


Learning outcomes should underpin design and delivery of digital
competence education and training.
Learning outcomes can support understanding and
ownership by learners; quality of assessment and results; and easier recognition of the course by
employers and institutions

Qualified Education and training should be offered by recognised
educational and training organisations and delivered by qualified trainers / educators
Educational and training organisations should employ and support suitably qualified staff and put in
place sufficient resources to ensure the ongoing professional development and upskilling of staff.

Competitive The European Union must ensure globally competitive
digital education and training
of the highest quality, which will retain young talents,
help develop e-leadership and digital entrepreneurship, and attract investments in the sustainable
development of Europe’s digital and green economy



4. A European approach to digital competence


DigComp: the European Digital Competence Framework

DigComp: the European Digital Competence Framework should
be further established as the EU-wide framework for developing and understanding digital
competences. The European Commission should support systematic use of DigComp across EU activities
as an integral part of responding to the impact of the ‘digital transition’, including through
funding programmes and outreach to policymakers and practitioners.


ALL DIGITAL welcomes the action announced by the EU Commission to
explore the feasibility of a ‘European Digital Skills Certificate’.
The eventual
‘certificate’ should support quality, common approaches and recognition of digital competence
certifications in the EU. The model should be based on DigComp and support assessment of learning
outcomes from formal, non-formal and informal learning.

ALL DIGITAL will leverage its position as an EU-wide network to play a role
in the governance and support of the model and continue to manage a
Digital Competence Certification Community of


A coherent approach to digital competences can only be achieved by
establishing shared ways to describe and share data on digital competences.

ALL DIGITAL calls on the European Commission to develop a ‘Digital
Competences Profile’ which will act as a EU standard for describing digital
The profile would set out minimum information that should be included in
course descriptions, assessments and certificates to give a clear understanding of the digital
competences in a given course.

The profile could be used in Europass, Individual Learning Accounts, ESCO and the EU
approach to micro-credentials and be used by digital competence training providers, certification
organisations and other stakeholders across the EU.

Recognition and Mobility

Technology should be leveraged to support the recognition and mobility of
digital competence certificates. Certification providers should use trustworthy mechanisms
(such as Europass Digital Credentials) to issue digitally signed certificates to
learners as evidence of their achievements.
Such digitally signed certificates can be
easily verified by employers, education and training institutions, and stakeholders in different
countries. This will reduce paper-based administration and delays in the recognition of digital


5. Sustainability and development



Stakeholders from industry, society and education and training must
collaborate on the design and delivery of courses and services and build processes to ensure
timely development of relevant, holistic digital competences.
ALL DIGITAL members and
digital competence stakeholders should participate in EU co-operation mechanisms, including the Pact for Skills, to represent and contribute to skills development activities
across the EU.


Digital competence development requires an ‘all-government’ approach that
includes digital competence development within employment, labour market, education and training,
social services and economic development.

Digital competences must be recognised as an integral part of
education, training and lifelong learning systems at local, regional, national and EU
Coherent approaches to digital competences (including design and delivery of
education and training, assessment, certification, and validation of previous learning) must be
incorporated within national learning and skills strategies.

National tools and services, such as employment services, e-Government
services and Learner Management Systems, should be designed to support easier exchange of
information on digital competences and to support citizens.


Appropriate investment is necessary to ensure that every European
citizen has easy and affordable access to education and training in digital competences and the
necessary digital infrastructure and broadband connectivity.
The overall percentage of
EU funding dedicated to developing digital competences must be increased in line with the priority
given to digital competences in policy documents and the urgent need to develop digital skills
across Member States. The European Commission and Member States must similarly work on roll-out of
the EU’s digital strategy to deliver on infrastructure, support
innovation and ensure sustainability


The topic of digital competence is a broad ranging area that involves many
areas of government, types of practitioner and policy. ALL DIGITAL will work to support greater
co-operation among digital competence stakeholders in the EU to create greater synergies and better
represent the voice of digital competence centres. ALL DIGITAL will propose
governance mechanisms
for DigComp and will continue to manage of a
stakeholder DigComp Community of Practice (CoP) for
communication among stakeholders, and will seek
to act as a
representative voice in co-development of
tools and


We invite organisations working in the field of digital skills to ENDORSE THE MANIFESTO