Simplifying legislation means weeding out the superfluous by rigorously applying the tests of whether it is necessary and proportionate. The exercise mainly involves the recasting and formal or informal consolidation of legislation.
In Europe the concept of simplifying legislation has grown in importance since the White Paper on the Completion of the Single Market and was explicitly put forward by the Edinburgh European Council in 1992. Since then a concentrated effort has been made to establish a market guaranteeing the four freedoms, but this has meant a wealth of European legislation. Simplifying this mass of law has now become a priority in order to ensure that Community action is transparent and effective. A pilot programme (Simpler legislation for the Internal market - SLIM) covering four specific areas was launched in May 1996 and could be extended to other areas. A declaration on the quality of the drafting of Community legislation is attached to the Final Act of the Intergovernmental Conference (1997). It recommends that the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission lay down guidelines for improving the form of legislation and calls on the institutions to make a determined effort to speed up the official consolidation of legislative texts.
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.