Our mission and values

The Elcano Royal Institute: 20 years analysing the world

Our mission

The mission of the Elcano Royal Institute is to contribute to innovative, robust, inclusive and informed responses to global challenges and governance and to analyse the role of Spain in the world, with a particular emphasis on its position in Europe. 

We analyse the international outlook and assess how major global transformations affect Spanish society. Our objective is to provide ideas that promote and strengthen sustainability, peace and security, prosperity, the reduction of inequalities, democracy, freedom and human rights, and equality between women and men. 

The Institute seeks to bring rigour, independence and pluralism and a wide range of perspectives to bear on our complex and rapidly changing world. We aim to contribute innovative ideas to public debate for use by institutions, public administrations, the private sector, academia, research institutes and civil society as a whole. We do this by working in interdisciplinary teams and maintaining permanent exchanges and dialogues with all sectors of society, research institutes and national and international organisations and institutions. 

The Institute is committed to ensuring that the results of its research are permanently available to everyone through open access documents produced in accessible formats and published on our website. 

We are the leading Spanish think tank for international and strategic affairs and one of the leading think tanks in Europe and the world. 

Our values 

  • Independence: independent, rigorous and innovative thought. 
  • Dialogue: interdisciplinarity, diverse points of view and a wide range of approaches. 
  • Sustainability: commitment to the environment and to reducing our carbon footprint. 
  • Equality and eliminating discrimination: gender equality across our organization and in our public presence and activities, supported by the principle of non-discrimination. 
  • Transparency and good governance: the principles of efficiency, transparency and accountability.

Our new organisational structure 

Established in 2001 as a private foundation, the organisational structure of the Elcano Royal Institute balances public and private interests, promoting the exchange of ideas in a plural and independent setting that embraces a wide range of political and social perspectives. Its highest governing body is the Board of Trustees, whose Honorary President is HM King of Spain. It also has a Business Advisory Council, an Executive Committee, a Scientific Council and numerous collaborating entities.

Our name

The Elcano Royal Institute is named after Juan Sebastián Elcano, remembered by history as the navigator of the expedition that completed the circumnavigation of the globe.