Country: Spain Spain

Director: Charles Powell

Website: http://www.realinstitutoelcano.  org/

Contact: General Information


The Elcano Royal Institute is a think tank specialised in international and strategic studies conducted from a Spanish, European and global perspective.

Its goal is to promote knowledge of the current international situation and of Spain’s foreign relations, as well as to provide a focal point for debating and generating ideas that may prove useful in the decision-making processes of political office-holders, the leaders of private enterprises and public institutions, social actors and academics.

The overall concern is to be a meeting point for the exchange of ideas and the search for consensus in a spirit dominated by the defence of democracy, multilateralism, the social market economy, freedom and human rights.

Created in 2001 as a private foundation, the Elcano Royal Institute’s organisational structure balances public and private interests and fosters the exchange of ideas in a plural and independent environment, providing the scope for diverse political and social outlooks. Its senior body is the Board of Trustees, under the honorary presidency of H.M. the King. It also has a Business Advisory Council, a Scientific Council and a network of Collaborating Entities. The Institute’s Chairman is Emilio Lamo de Espinosa and its Director is Charles Powell.

The Institute has a stable multidisciplinary team of highly-qualified analysts along with a wide-ranging network of contributors and associate experts. It also counts on the participation of outstanding figures in Spanish public life linked to foreign policy and defence, the economic and business communities, public administration and the academic, cultural and social spheres.

It focuses on both specific topics and geographical areas. Among the former are energy and climate change, security and defence, the global economy, international terrorism, Spain’s image abroad, and demography and migrations. Its particular areas of interest are Europe, the Atlantic world, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

As a forum for discussion and debate, the Institute frequently organises different types of meetings –with individual personalities and working groups – as well as seminars, public debates and conferences. The Institute’s work is made available in a wide range of publications, all of which are accessible on its website:

  • Elcano Reports and books of different formats and characteristics, some of them published periodically, such as the Elcano Global Presence Index;
  • Spain’s Image Barometer (BIE), which analyses the country’s image abroad; and the Elcano Royal Institute Barometer (BRIE), an opinion survey conducted in Spain and focused on the opinions, judgements and attitudes of Spaniards on all aspects of national and international politics;
  • Elcano Policy Papers, collaborative papers that focus on specific aspects of Spain’s position in the world and of current international affairs, aimed at providing ideas and recommendations to political leaders;
  • Analyses of the Elcano Royal Institute (ARI), analyses of around 3,000 words on aspects of international affairs considered to be of relevance to Spanish politics;
  • Working Papers (WP), longer papers of a more academic nature on topics of importance in the medium and longer terms;
  • Expert Comments, brief analyses of around 1,000 words on current affairs;
  • Elcano Blog, a platform for dialogue that aims to present debates on Spain’s political life, action abroad and external projection, and on international relations, to a more widely- based public;
  • Revista Elcano, a quarterly magazine including a selection of the Institute’s publications, an interview with an expert on international relations and a calendar of activities;
  • Newsletter, a monthly publication with 20,000 subscribers that provides information about the main research papers released during the month, along with updates and news on the Institute’s website.

To guarantee its external projection and influence, the institute has an office in Brussels and participates in many international networks and projects, including the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN), the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), Think Global, Act European (TGAE), the Red Iberoamericana de Estudios Internacionales (RIBEI), the International Relations and Security Network (ISN), the International Counter-Terrorism Academic Community (ICTAC), the Euro-Mediterranean Study Commission (EURO-MESCO), the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), the European Information Network on International Relations and Area Studies (EINIRAS) and the European Think Tank Network on China (ETNC).

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