The process of accession to the EU requires countries to apply and develop their capacity to enforce the current EU environmental policy. This policy is still very much based on standards and a "command and control" approach, and this focuses attention on investments and revenue-raising to meet these regulations. Some estimates suggest that up to 120 billion ecus are required for water, air and waste for the 10 accession countries existing at the end of 1999 This does not take into account the alignment of labour and occupational health and safety legislation that is also required in the accession partnerships. In addition, EU accession implies reforming the current environmental charges/funding mechanisms of the accession countries. The fund resources are understood by EU legislation to be state aid and are strictly regulated within the EU. The same problem arises with tax exemptions.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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.