Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) is an anti-corruption and good governance coalition created in November 2012 by 17 likeminded CSOs in Southeast Europe, involving partners from nine countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia Kosovo, FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey). The Network is operating on the basis of joint strategy and agreed action agenda. The objective of the regional initiative is to contribute to a dynamic civil society in the region, capable of participating in public debate and influencing policy and decision-making process in the area of anti-corruption and good governance. The initiative is a continuation of the Southeast European Legal Development Initiative (SELDI), created in 1999 by leading not-for-profit organizations, representatives of government institutions and experts from the countries of Southeast Europe aimed at public-private coalition building for legal development in those countries. It aimed to provide a forum for cooperation among the most active civil society institutions, public figures and government and international agencies in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey.

History of SELDI

SELDI is largely based on the Southeast European Legal Development Initiative (SELDI), conceived in late 1998 by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), a Bulgarian policy institute, and the International Development Law Organization(IDLO), an inter-governmental organization based in Rome, and established by Memorandum of Understanding between CSD and IDLO on 20th April 1999.

The overall goal of the Southeast European Legal Development Initiative was to contribute to the building of the rule of law and democratic institutions in the countries of SEE. The major methodological pillar of SELDI's implementation activities was the institutionalization of regional public-private cooperation in anti-corruption and judicial reform. It was realised through an open process ensuring the input of all stakeholders in the region.

SELDI builds upon the success of the Coalition 2000 process, the Judicial Reform Initiative (JRI) for Bulgaria, and other previous efforts in Bulgaria by these two organizations aimed to promote the rule of law and a legal environment beneficial to the transition process and development. The Coalition 2000 process and JRI have established a model in encouraging cooperation among public and private institutions in the transition context as the most effective way to mobilise all societal resources for the success of reforms. 

SELDI was first discussed with regional stakeholders at the Coalition Building and Monitoring in Anti-Corruption: Strategies and Impact in Central and Eastern Europe Conference held in June 1999 in Varna, Bulgaria and the Southeast Europe Anti-Corruption Forum, held in Sofia on 25-26 February 2000. Represented at the conferences were non-governmental organisations from the countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, FYROM, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, and Serbia and Montenegro and Bulgarian government institutions, as well as USAID, the World Bank, OECD’s Anti-Corruption Network, the United Nations Development Programme, Transparency International, the European Commission, the Council of Europe, and other bilateral assistance agencies. SELDI was further presented at the Ninth International Anti-Corruption Conference Global Integrity: 2000 and Beyond held in Durban, South Africa in October 1999. The good governance aspect of the Initiative was discussed at the seminars Legal Prevention and Judicial Control of Corruption, and Responding to the Challenges of Corruption organised by IDLI and the International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council of the UN Crime Prevention and Crime Justice Program in November 1999 in Rome. SELDI was also featured at the inaugural meeting of the World Bank’s Global Development Network meeting in Bonn in December 1999.

The Southeast European Legal Development Initiative was distinguished from the other region-wide initiatives in that it seeks to facilitate practical efforts aimed at addressing specific needs and in the leading role of civil society and private sector institutions in its implementation. It is the first NGO-led effort to promote legal cooperation as an instrument for regional development and democratisation. 

SELDI was thus intended to multiply the effect of public-private coalition building for development throughout the region. It provides a forum for cooperation among the most active civil society institutions, public figures and government and international agencies in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYROM, Greece, Romania, Turkey and, when possible, Serbia and Montenegro. SELDI was actively seeking the cooperation of other international initiatives for the region - the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), Central European Initiative (CEI), the Royaumont Process, as well as with international organizations and multilateral agencies. SELDI served as a permanent framework under which the founding organisations and other organisations and individuals promoted programmes and projects in the legal field.

The first SELDI conference was held Rome on April 7, 2000