Two thirds of the European Union's structural funds provide aid for regions whose development is lagging behind. Regions are eligible if their per capita gross domestic product is less than 75% of the Community average. Some 20% of the Union's total population should benefit from this aid in the period 2000-2006. The INTERREG programme, with a total budget of 4.8 billion euros, will make it possible for areas that are lagging behind economically, or are undergoing redevelopment, to share their experiences and cooperate with each other. The LEADER+ programme, with a budget of 2 billion euros, has been designed to safeguard existing jobs in rural areas, and create new ones. The URBAN programme, with a budget of 700 million euros, aims to develop and implement new methods of revitalizing problem areas in cities and suburbs, and to share experiences at the EU level.
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.