This paper assesses the performance of European Union countries in achieving sustainable development using an assessment framework based on the 2030 Agenda. Through the application of the Spatial Sustainability Assessment Model, which integrates multi-criteria analysis with the geographical tool QuantumGIS, European countries are classified according to the four basic dimensions of sustainability (social, economic, environmental, and institutional) organized into various sub-dimensions, with reference to the year 2020. The results show that Northern countries have better overall sustainability performance in all dimensions except the environment. In contrast, Eastern European and Mediterranean countries perform worse, showing major weaknesses, especially in the economic and institutional dimensions, with a gap between the countries that joined the Union after 2004 and the other states. An in-depth analysis was conducted to highlight the reasons behind these difficulties in order to give useful indications to public decision-makers, as a tool for planning, on future choices.
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