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The long-run sustainability of the European Union countries: Assessing the Europe 2020 strategy through a fuzzy goal programming model

Aymeric Vié (Sciences Po, Sciences Po Saint Germain-en-Laye, Saint Germain-en-Laye, France) (Department of Economics, Management, and Quantitative Methods, University of Milan, Milan, Italy)
Cinzia Colapinto (Graduate School of Business, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan) (Department of Management, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Venice, Italy)
Davide La Torre (Department of Economics, Management, and Quantitative Methods, University of Milan, Milan, Italy) (Dubai Business School, University of Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Danilo Liuzzi (Department of Economics, Management, and Quantitative Methods, University of Milan, Milan, Italy)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 5 October 2018

Issue publication date: 26 February 2019

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301

Abstract

Purpose

Energy and environmental concerns have gained a significant role in public policy agenda as well as in energy economics literature. As policies often rely on imprecise information on data and goals, fuzzy goal programming (FGP) modeling is a relevant choice to evaluate multi-criteria sustainability. This technique is suitable for the analysis of the Europe 2020 strategy plan dealing with several possibly conflicting objectives in economy, environment, energy and employment. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a FGP model for sustainable implementations for all European Union (EU) countries with respect to Europe 2020 policy goals and provides insights for decision makers to better satisfy conflicting criteria by suggesting optimal allocations of workers in several economic sectors.

Findings

The analysis shows an overall great performance of European Union countries in the environmental and social criteria and outlines the needs for significant additional policy measures to reduce energy consumption while increasing the economic output. Comparing the performance of countries within the European Union between those who adopted the euro and those who maintained national currencies shows that Euro countries tend to perform worse in terms of Europe 2020 sustainability, opening opportunities for further research to better investigate on the causes and determinants of these differences.

Originality/value

The paper presents a conceptual model of sustainable development that improves understanding of the concept and reconciles highly competing policy objectives in a common framework. Applying this model to all European Union countries offers both comparison and policy recommendations at a large new scale.

Keywords

Citation

Vié, A., Colapinto, C., La Torre, D. and Liuzzi, D. (2019), "The long-run sustainability of the European Union countries: Assessing the Europe 2020 strategy through a fuzzy goal programming model", Management Decision, Vol. 57 No. 2, pp. 523-542. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-05-2018-0518

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited