European countries lead the way on global SDG action

Briefing Published 02 Dec 2020 Last modified 02 Dec 2020
Photo: © Photo by Antoine Petitteville on Unsplash
For the purpose of providing country-level ranking and information for all 39 countries, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network SDG Index for all UN member states is used as a reference as it provides the broadest country coverage.

Based on this index (Sachs et al., 2019), the top 10 countries in terms of progress to achieve the SDGs are all Eionet countries. In addition, Eionet countries represent 20 of the top 25 globally.  

Figure 5: Ranking of Eionet countries on SDG Index 2019

Fig 5. Ranking of Eionet countries on SDG index 2019

Source: EEA compilation based on 2019 SDG Index from SDSN and the Bertelsmann Stiftung Foundation. 

Limitations and future deliberations 

The country profiles highlight the diversity of action happening in Eionet countries to achieve the SDGs at the national level. While information from UN VNRs is readily accessible, this analysis has also relied on the review of publicly available (online) information to gain an overview of SDG actions and mechanisms. Thus, this approach reflects the level of information available in VNRs and the varied nature and extent of information available online among countries as well as the frequency with which information is updated.

Any inaccuracies in relation to national actions on SDGs are therefore the result of this approach rather than deliberate omission. However, the feedback and inputs received during the wider NFP/Eionet consultation during February-April 2020 enabled the country profileto be improved with complementary and updated information.   

By the end of 2020, all EEA member countries will have submitted at least one VNR, with further progress in national SDG indicator development and reporting expected in the coming years. 2023 marks the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda (2015-2030).  


Geographic coverage

Temporal coverage