The Coalition Building and Monitoring for Anti-Corruption in Southeast Europe project was successfully launched in September 2000 as part of the Southeast European Legal Development Initiative.
Purpose and premise
The overall objective of the SELDI anti-corruption project/component is to introduce aregion-wide institutional framework for public-private cooperation in countering corruption in the countries of Southeast Europe. The main premise of the project approach is that the institutionalization of corruption in the SEE countries cannot be explained by the national circumstances alone. A number of region-wide causes need to be taken into account if we are to comprehend the depth of the problem.
The gravity of the problem calls for bold and radical measures if corruption is to be stemmed. For this to happen, broad public coalitions need to be formed both within countries, and region-wide. Traditional bureaucracies – be they national or international – cannot muster the type of public support needed if these reforms are to be successful.
Thus a partnership between public and private institutions is the most appropriate anti-corruption model for the region. This approach has three main pillars – encouraging coalition building on a regional basis, enhancing public awareness and regular monitoring of corruption dynamics. In all three areas, the process is intended to be NGO-driven.
The importance of the latter is premised on the fact that support coming from a cross section of society, involving major public and private actors could only be enlisted in this process if society has a clear view of the severity of the problem. This warrants the introduction of a new kind of corruption assessment which goes beyond traditional law enforcement methods. This new kind could only be successful if it is based on cooperation between the public institutions, involved in designing and implementing anti-corruption policies, and civil society institutions which are expected to generate civic support for these policies. For this to happen, the assessment on which these policies are based, needs to be carried out in a public-private partnership.
The project is supported through a grant from USAID.
The 2002 Regional Corruption Monitoring Indexes, produced within the framework of the Southeast European Legal Development Initiative, were officially presented at a press-conference held on April 4, 2002, at the Center for the Study of Democracy, SELDI Executive Secretariat.
The regional monitoring of corruption is being held for a second year in a row as part of the Coalition Building and Monitoring for Anti-Corruption in Southeast Europe project. The Regional Corruption Monitoring System (RCMS), introduced by SELDI in 2001, is based on the experience and methodology of the monitoring system of corruption developed and implemented on a quarterly basis since 1998 in Bulgaria by the anti-corruption initiative Coalition 2000.
The RCMS is the first ever region-wide corruption diagnostics carried out simultaneously in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, and Yugoslavia on the basis of a uniform methodology. The regional monitoring is a unique effort which has not been undertaken in the region before as it measures the link between public values and the actual spread of corruption in the countries. It allows a comparison of the public sectors most affected by corruption thus providing objective data for the design of regional anti-corruption policy instruments.
The main goal of the comparative analysis contained in the RCMS is to show the public significance of the problem of corruption and the extent to which corruption has penetrated into the various sections of these societies. This monitoring system allows citizens in the region to voice their concern about the corruption pressure exercised over them. Thus, as public support is an indispensable component in any anti-corruption campaign, the RCMS is a key instrument for empowering the public and generating civic involvement in anti-corruption efforts.