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Financial literacy

The EU is working to ensure that people throughout Europe have the knowledge and skills they need to make good financial decisions.

What is financial literacy?

Everyone should be able to understand the risks involved when borrowing or investing money. Financial literacy can help individuals plan for the future, make better decisions about what to do with their money, and invest in capital markets in a way that meets their needs. This will be even more important for individuals and businesses as the economy gradually recovers from the COVID crisis.

Financial literacy also protects individuals from over-indebtedness, excessive risk-taking, fraud, or cyber risks. Financial education complements consumer protection, but does not replace it.

What is the European Commission doing about this?

The Commission has continuously worked to promote financial literacy in European citizens, for adults as well as young people and children. Several frameworks have been published and the Commission is working to help Member States’s national authorities and stakeholders use these to develop concrete policies, programmes, and learning materials on financial literacy in, including through targeted workshops.

The Commission also works with national administrations to assess levels of financial literacy and create dedicated programmes to improve financial education.  

  1. 27 September 2023
    Financial competence framework for children and youth

    Commission and the OECD jointly developed a financial competence framework for children and youth

  2. 11 January 2022
    Financial competence framework for adults

    Commission and the OECD jointly developed a financial competence framework for adults

  3. September 2020
    Capital markets union action plan

    Commission reaffirmed that financial literacy is at the heart of people’s financial well-being in action 7 of capital markets union action plan

Videos on financial literacy

Do you want to know what a green bond is? Do you want to learn more about your rights when depositing money at the bank or taking out a mortgage? Our videos explain what you need to know in less than 60 seconds!

How financially literate are European citizens?

The results of a Eurobarometer survey on financial literacy published in July 2023 by the European Commission show that only 18% of EU citizens have a high level of financial literacy, 64% - a medium level, and the remaining 18% - a low level. There are, however, wide differences across Member States. In only four Member States, more than 25% of people score highly in financial literacy (the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Slovenia).

The results also point to the need for financial education to target particular groups including women, younger people, people with lower incomes and those with lower levels of education who tend to be on average less financially literate than other groups.

Check the results of the Eurobarometer survey on financial literacy

Speeches by Commissioner McGuinness on financial literacy

Financial literacy is a political priority for Commissioner Mairead McGuinness. Discover more about her vision of a financially literate EU population and the wider future of financial services in these speeches: