A Multi-Criteria Approach for the Classification of EU Countries with Respect to their Progress Towards Sustainable Development

  • D. Diakoulaki
  • G. Mavrotas
Conference paper


This paper presents a multicriteria approach capable to combine the abundant and sometimes conflicting information provided by several economic, social and environmental indicators. The aim is to illustrate on a comparative basis the performance of EU countries with respect to each single dimension and the risks associated with the overall goal of sustainable development. Since no policy maker or expert is capable to express clear-cut value judgements about the relative importance of the examined indicators we apply an objective weighting procedure, which is deriving weights according to the “richness” of the information provided by each indicator. The aggregate scores calculated in each single dimension are used to construct a sustainability matrix. The obtained results are revealing 3 groups of countries which present a rather similar performance, especially as regards the economic and social dimension of sustainable development.


Environmental Indicator Multiple Criterion Decision Structural Indicator Relative Score Sustainability Dimension 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Diakoulaki
    • 1
  • G. Mavrotas
    • 1
  1. 1.Dpt. of Chemical Engineering, Lab. of Industrial and Energy EconomicsNational Technical University of AthensAthensGreece

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