Following an agreement in 1985 among the Schengen group of EEC/EU countries concerning border controls, it was agreed to set up a Europe-wide police database covering wanted persons and illegal immigrants. This was due to be launched in 1993. In 1994 it was still not in operation and it was believed that it might never function correctly. Problems arose because for political reasons it proved necessary to allow each country to design its own databank to be linked to a central computer, even though this approach was more expensive and less efficient. The proposal finally selected for the central system had disadvantages relating to planning, conception and implementation but was also selected primarily on political criteria. The recommendations made by computer experts that the project be placed under a single responsible authority were ignored in favour of a rotating system of responsibility among the nine participating countries. As a result the nine countries worked on their own systems without any particular group being charged with the responsibility of ensuring the management of the overall project and compatibility with the central system. Projects with a broader focus and involving more politically-sensitive countries tend to raise even more problems of coordination.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.