I'd imagine those are considered Active Skills sense they are activated by the player and not passive. Passive implies that they run-in the background and don't need particular attention given to be activated.
I think passive skills will work like this -
Every other level you'll get a passive skill point, you also get a passive skill pane to place these points into.
In the end, (level 60 say) you'll have like 30 passive skill points to spend, and you'll only be able to max out 6 of these passive abilities. On top of that, you'll be able to select something like 15-20 different passive skills.
So, this will allow you to customize the way your characters works passively without requiring you to put points into your active skills pane. This effectively separates the 2 types of skills and increases player customization pretty dramatically.