The Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) was initially adopted in Sarajevo in February 2000, as Stability Pact Anti-corruption Initiative (SPAI), to address corruption – one of the most serious threats to the recovery and development of the South East European countries. Currently the Initiative consists of 9 member countries from the region – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia and one observer - UNMIK, providing all of them with a general framework for coordination, optimization of efforts and permanent dialogue with the partner community involved in the fight against corruption.
In September 2003, the SPAI Steering Group agreed to establish a Regional Secretariat Liaison Office (RSLO) in Sarajevo to promote regional ownership of the Initiative and enhance regional capabilities to lead the fight against corruption in SEE. (Initially, SPAI's Secretariat functions were performed by the Council of Europe and OECD). Six months later, RSLO became operational. Staffed by experts from the region, RSLO was founded as an executive implementing body of the Initiative. It is currently the only center in SEE devoted solely to fighting corruption at a regional level. RSLO tailors its activities to directly support the member countries to meet the standards and requirements related to the Justice and Home Affairs field in the EU accession process. For the time of its existence the Secretariat’s anti-corruption message has reached over 4 800 people in more than 130 events. Close relations with partner organizations like ABA ROLI, the Council of Europe, European Commission, OSCE, OECD, UNDP, UNODC, TI and many others, have been established.
In May 2005, Ministers of Justice from all SPAI member countries met in Brussels and reinforced their commitment to adopt impact oriented measures in order to curb corruption phenomenon in SEE. As a concrete step in this regard countries of the region set a challenging calendar to implement 10 joint measures to curb corruption and reassured their full support and assistance to SPAI RSLO.
2007 was an year of transformation and setting new challenges for SPAI. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was opened for signature and ratification by the SPAI member countries during the SEECP JHA Meeting in Zagreb on April 13, 2007. By signing the MoU, the signatory countries ensured the financial sustainability of the Sarajevo based Secretariat of the Anti-corruption Initiative by providing an annual financial contribution and decided for the first time to raise a Chairman of the Initiative from the region. It was a further clear step towards a full regional ownership and leadership of the Anti-corruption Initiative, thus demonstrating the involvement of the SEE countries in the fight against corruption. The Memorandum was ratified by the Republic of Moldova through the Law No. 59-XVI of 20.03.2008.
Since October 9, 2007, through a decision of the member countries, approved at the 11th Steering Group Meeting in Podgorica, the Stability Pact Anti-corruption Initiative was renamed as Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI), in line with the transformation of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe into Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Consequently, the Regional Secretariat Liaison Office became simply theSecretariat.