Martyn Barrett

Citizenship Competences



This paper provides an overview of the 20 citizenship competences that are specified by the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (Barrett et al., 2018a, 2018b, 2018c). The procedure that was used to identify these 20 competences is described, and some of the notable characteristics of the set of 20 competences are discussed. In addition, the descriptors that have been developed for the competences are explained. Descriptors are clear, explicit and concise descriptions of the concrete observable behaviours that a person will display if they have achieved a certain level of proficiency in a given competence. It is argued that these 20 competences, together with their accompanying descriptors, provide educators with a powerful set of tools for implementing a comprehensive, coherent and transparent approach to civic and citizenship education.


  • Citizenship
  • Competence
  • Competences
  • Descriptors
  • Proficiency levels


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