CIDOB promotes global governance and good practices –based on a local, national and European democratic government– to ensure that people possess the basic elements to live their lives free from fear and in liberty, by facilitating a dialogue that includes all diversities and which actively defends human rights and gender equality.


CIDOB is a dynamic community of analysts that works to produce and offer to all political actors –from individual citizens to international organisations– information and ideas to formulate and promote policies for a more secure, free, and fair world for everyone.


The objectives


CIDOB’s objectives are to be:


An independent research centre , plural, without dominant partisan or

ideological agendas, and capable of influencing thinking and global political

action from within its local reality.

A useful international point of reference in Barcelona for people,

institutions, and companies that work in the international field or which

are interested in it; an agent for promoting the growing internationalisation

of the city, of Catalonia, and of Spain; as well as a national and international

point of reference in terms of research, documentation resources, and

publications specialised in international relations.

An influential actor in the development of the international action of local

governments, the Generalitat of Catalonia, the Government of Spain, and of

the European Union and their respective parliamentary structures; in permanent

dialogue with policy-makers and with the capacity to generate opinion, directly

and/or through the media.

An organisation connected –both on a European and a global level– with

other leading institutions in the field of international relations; an organisation

that participates in the European and global debates, and which is a source

of internationally respected knowledge and opinion.

An instrument of international action at the service of the citizens ;

a mechanism to support international relations that works to influence and assist

decision-makers. A tool to respond to the concerns of the general public and to

disseminate international and European public decisions that affect ordinary

citizens, as well as contributing to their application.


The instruments


CIDOB aims to achieve its mission by:


• Generating ideas , analysis , and concrete proposals for action, based on independent criteria.

Producing research guided by the criteria of excellence and social usefulness.

• Providing quality information and fostering research and knowledge production in strategic

areas, which are part of the great international debates.

Advising the actors who require international information specific to their field of action.

Bringing together international relations analysts with those who participate in this area through

their day-to-day work in political, institutional, media, business or other professional fields.

Disseminating CIDOB’s work by means of the organisation’s own publications, the Internet, and the

social networks, as well as by publishing articles in quality international journals and by cooperating with the media.

• Making efficient and sustainable use of its own resources .

Working together with other think tanks from around the world with whom it shares aims and values.


CIDOB strategic approach


CIDOB’s strategic approach is characterised by its humanist and pluralist philosophy, featuring a work methodology that is prospective, interdisciplinary, and based on quality research that is evaluable, direct, and multilevel.


1. Humanist. CIDOB’s raison d’être is the conviction that international issues do not only affect states and nations, but also –and above all– people. This approach to analysing and considering what happens in the world, focusing principally on people, enables CIDOB to situate itself at the forefront of reflection on global issues, while taking a different view from the classical approaches to international relations.

2. Pluralist. Free from a dominant partisan or ideological agenda, all trends and opinions are considered, provided that they are based on positions of respect for others and intellectual rigour. CIDOB supports and promotes equal opportunities, the defence of human rights, gender equality, individual freedoms, democratic institutions, a competitive, social market framework, and the aims established in the Treaty of the European Union.

3. Prospective. Situated far from state and European centres of decision-making, CIDOB cannot play a reactive role. CIDOB stands out because of its prospective approach, which raises its gaze from the current affairs and takes the medium and long-term view by constructing scenarios and detecting new trends. This original, added value can prove highly useful in a political space in which management of the immediate present does not always allow time for reflections of a more strategic nature, and which are necessary for tackling complex problems.

4. Interdisciplinary. Given that it transcends the barriers between the disciplines of social sciences and even other fields of knowledge, interdisciplinarity is a key factor in our capacity to generate new ideas. This cross-fertilisation should not only take place among academic disciplines, but also between these and a variety of other viewpoints, including those of politicians, diplomats, technicians, opinion makers, economic agents, and individual actors. A transversal work approach must be reinforced within the institution and a constant dialogue between the different subjects and areas of reflection established. Transversal research projects must be generated that are common to all CIDOB researchers, in a spirit of cohesive and accumulative team work.

5. Direct. CIDOB’s commitment to people is also strengthened by its concern for first-hand knowledge and reflection; that is to say, for direct contact with the actors who are involved in the realities that CIDOB studies and analyses, thus giving priority to fieldwork. This means carrying out work on the ground and with people and institutions that have direct experience of the issues being studied, and not merely processing the enormous amount of indirect information produced by other international experts and which can be accessed relatively easily.

6. Multilevel. Focusing on people implies that the nation-state should not be the exclusive unit of analysis. CIDOB’s Board of Trustees includes Barcelona City Council, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, Barcelona Provincial Council, and the Generalitat of Catalonia, some of the most active institutions in Europe and the world. This may give a substantial comparative advantage in the study of international issues from the perspective of regional governments, but also from that of economic agents and other actors in civil society. The national level is also included in the multilevel analysis, because of the importance and influence as well as decision-making and regulatory capacity of Spain in the international sphere and in the EU, and also because it is part of the Board of Trustees.


Research and field work


CIDOB carries out research, particularly on the ground, in order to:


• Gain national and internationally-recognised experience in specific subject areas.

• Maintain its capacity to interact and dialogue with the academia.

• Acquire first-hand knowledge and points of view.

• Produce original analysis that is informed by the reality under study and by the political decision-makers’ need for such information.

• Detect new fields and trends before they are included onto the political agenda.

• Continually recycle CIDOB’s research team by promoting exchange and mobility with other research centres and institutions.


Objectives for 2014-2017

• Strengthen its position within the State as a point of reference in the issues and geopolitical areas that CIDOB specialises in, and to become known among leading analysts from different countries and subjects.

• Gain prestige and international recognition in CIDOB’s selected areas of specialisation, and in new thematic and geographical actions.

• Consolidate our own team of internationally-renowned analysts, with a methodology that enables us to create joint products and attract new talent for CIDOB’s projects.

• Organise a network of fellow researchers and active interlocutors to enable us to increase and update our intellectual output.



• Focus a substantial part of CIDOB's activities around the three geopolitical areas for which it is already renowned (the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and Europe) during the first stage.

• At a later stage, include the Pacific and other areas of particular interest into the development of the new projects.

• Maintain and strengthen the position of guest researchers in order to attract international talent.

• Strengthen the interaction between those associated with research programmes and the attaining of CIDOB’s objectives.

• Agree on transfer periods for CIDOB researchers to work in other institutions, in order for them to broaden their knowledge, enrich their methodology, and widen the network of contacts.


Debate, dialogue and reflection

CIDOB promotes debate, dialogue, and reflection in order to:


• Facilitate debate and joint reflection between actors from different origins and fields (politics, journalism, business, academia, civil society, and other).

• Establish direct contacts between counterparts from different environments with a view to bringing about an intercultural exchange that can produce shared viewpoints and innovative solutions.

• Enable researchers to share and refine their ideas through contact with other researchers and professionals.

• Generate useful analysis and recommendations for professionals on international issues.


Objectives for 2014-2017

• Improve CIDOB’s capacity to introduce new points of view onto the Catalan, Spanish, and European political agendas.

• Reach out to a broader range of actors of different professional fields and thus create new networks of influence through CIDOB’s activities, particularly in the political and business worlds.

• Based on the concept of action research, develop a characteristic and recognisable style in CIDOB’s analysis and proposals that becomes a signature feature for the institution.



• Increase the number of activities directly involving decision-makers and other actors from different professional fields. This will help to raise the awareness of the ideas emerging from academic debates and our work, as well as contribute to reaching out to the wider society. To that end, an international advisory council and a financial council will be created.

• Organise activities in different settings outside its seat in Barcelona so as to reach other audiences, whether this be in different parts of the city or other cities and countries (by establishing offices or permanent representations in Madrid, Brussels and Mexico).

• Help to consolidate a group of renowned think tanks in Barcelona that carry out independent research and have the capacity to generate proposals and support the development of the local, national, and international political agendas.

• Broaden the base of CIDOB’s research associates with the aim of stepping up expertise in new areas that are identified as strategic, as well as improving the quality of researchers’ curriculums. Distinguish between researchers associated to projects (hired for a particular project) and research fellows (linked to other academic institutions, research centres, and think tanks). On a biannual basis, the affiliation of associate researchers will be reviewed, in accordance with their contributions made and the institution’s interest for the particular area of research.




CIDOB prioritises disseminating its ideas and opinions in order to:

• Make information available to those interested, to help them form opinions on the current international situation.

• Provide the political and the media agenda with informed, verified viewpoints on the international reality.

• Help those with ideas and knowledge on international issues to gain access to political decision-makers and opinion-makers, and vice-versa.


Objectives for 2014 -2017

• Provide opinion leaders and those responsible for making decision on international matters, from the local to the European level, with quality analysis, viewpoints, and proposals that can help to inform the debate on the issues at hand.

• Provide quick access –via the website and the social networks– to the publications, documentation, information, and opinion generated by CIDOB to all those interested throughout the world.

• Bring to notice CIDOB’s publications, documentation, opinions, and ideas in the European and international context through cooperation with other think tanks and via direct contact with the European institutions.



• Create a new website, which will become a reference point for analysis, featuring follow-up and opinion on international events and which will be managed by a web editor.

• Target from the very beginning of the research and publication process the end users and ensure that each product has a specific dissemination plan.

• Restructure CIDOB’s publications in accordance with their cost and impact, focusing on a smaller number of collections and publishing some of them on the front page of the website.

• Strengthen the editorial board that is responsible for managing and coordinating the publications and their schedule, as well as for proposing and selecting subjects, and for gathering ideas from CIDOB’s researchers. The board is headed by the Director.

• Redesign the CIDOB’s yearbook, which is an emblematic publication that upholds CIDOB’s image. Both a compilation of the year’s events and a prospective tool, part of its contents (infographics, document appendices, and statistics) will be transferred to a more interactive, updated online edition.

• Promote the Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals as an academic journal of reference, in addition to boosting its dissemination, internationalisation, and visibility through its indexing on the main international academic databases and repositories in the field of social sciences. Continue with the process of improving its impact and inclusion onto the indexes of the highest quality and international acceptance.



CIDOB prioritises its documentation work in order to:


• Generate original, easy-access, online documentary resources for a specialist readership.

• Fill gaps in documentation on subjects of particular interest for CIDOB’s priorities.


Objectives for 2014-2017

• Consolidate CIDOB as a point of reference for international, online documentation service in Spanish.

• Increase the interactivity of document resources.

• Establish an original in-house style that combines analysis with documentary resources (infographics, maps, etc.)

• Individualise CIDOB’s research projects by systematically including visualised data.



• Create synergies between the compilation of data for CIDOB’s yearbook and the in-house production of other specialised online databases, such as biographies of political leaders, timelines, maps, acronyms, and statistics.

• Profit from the documentation deriving from core projects: the Atlantic atlas, the MIPEX project interactive website, and the display of the results of the survey for the SAHWA project.

• Work together with the University Library Consortium of Catalonia to contribute to the Collective Catalogue of Universities of Catalonia (CCUC), so as to enjoy its advantages in terms of research and dissemination of CIDOB publications.




After a consultation process with actors from the economic, political, and academic sector, as well as through a debate and reflection process between CIDOB’s researchers, the decision has been made to examine the international reality in the coming four years from three different angles: firstly, major issues on the global agenda that have a direct impact on the local level; secondly, geopolitical spaces that are undergoing transformation and have grown beyond their traditional regional limits; and thirdly, the study of key countries in these areas, or in areas where the major issues on the global agenda acquire a special meaning. These priorities will be developed by implementing core projects, some of which have already been approved, while others will be developed during the period in which the Strategic Plan is applied.


Main thematic areas

The international agenda is dynamic. New actors, concepts, and dilemmas are constantly emerging which require us to update our way of thinking and our instruments of analysis and action. CIDOB has identified three main subject areas all of which share the importance of people as the subject of international relations, and the connections between transformations at the global scale and their impact at the local level.


Security and development

Security cannot be guaranteed without inclusive development, and sustainable development cannot exist without security. CIDOB approaches issues of security from a multidimensional perspective which ranges from international to human security, as well as the security of states and regions.

Globalisation and regionalism

Economic interdependence and global value chains shape an important part of the phenomenon of globalisation and determine new ways of viewing international relations. CIDOB plans to analyse the ways in which the changes in economic and political power relations and in international cooperation affect globalisation, as well as regional and interregional dynamics.

Human rights and citizenship

CIDOB believes that all human rights are universal, indivisible, and interdependent, and that they can and must be upheld at the international, state, and local levels. Therefore we will be focusing on three interrelated fields: migration, political participation, and intercultural dynamics.


Main geopolitical areas

CIDOB has established its geographical priorities in the context of an ongoing redefinition of broad, flexible geopolitical spaces, within which power relations are being reshaped. The European Union is situating itself within each of these spaces, and while in some it is seeking to preserve its hegemony, in others it is attempting to position itself as a relevant, constructive partner.



A deeper and wider Europe

CIDOB’s view of the European continent has two main focal points: the dynamics of European integration, on the one hand, and relations between the EU and its European neighbours, on the other.

The broader Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is a point of convergence of several regions, where the EU has attempted to promote cooperation, dialogue, and integration.

The Atlantic space

The Atlantic Ocean has played an important role for centuries. The international system has undergone major structural changes through time, including in the relations of domination and cooperation that in turn have influenced the interactions between the two sides of the Atlantic. CIDOB offers a new perspective to identify the changes and continuities taking place in the Atlantic, as well as the main medium and long-term prospects.

The emerging Pacific

The Pacific region is the main motor of global economic growth, where traditional powers coexist with re-emerged and emerging powers. CIDOB’s approach to this vast area is based, on the one hand, on the economic dynamics, and on the other, on the organisation of frameworks of cooperation, dialogue, and regional integration.


Key countries


In addition to studying the dynamics taking place in each of the above-mentioned geopolitical areas, CIDOB aims to prioritise the analysis of a small group of countries that share the following characteristics: 1) they play a central role in their regional areas, and often beyond them; 2) they have a significant impact on the global agenda in issues such as energy, security and economic recovery; 3) their political and economic evolution will set the standard in broad regional areas; 4) they employ South-South cooperation as the main feature of their international relations strategy.

In order to be able to carry out in-depth research on the internal dynamics and the international role of these actors, CIDOB will establish alliances with think tanks and research centres based in these countries.



An assertive power seeking to strengthen its dominance in its immediate neighbourhood, and to consolidate itself as a global power by taking advantage of other actors’ weaknesses. The country is rife with a wide range of political and social tensions.


A medium-sized power that aspires to gain influence over the global agenda; it acts as a regional power among its neighbours, and its links with the EU are going through a critical phase. An economy that is dynamic but vulnerable, with a strong central authority that is subject to internal criticism.


A central actor in the Maghreb region, and an influential one in the Sahel. One of the countries least affected by the political changes in the Arab world, although it will need to face the political and economic reforms demanded by the new generation.


A power with global influence and alliances with both traditional and emerging powers, which is also attempting to assert its regional leadership. Despite successes in poverty reduction, the country is still lagging behind in terms of social protection, infrastructures, and loss of competitiveness, all of which require substantial political reform.


After a democratic transition that has resulted in a long period of macroeconomic stability, the country has new aspirations in regard to achieving international influence and openness at the regional and global levels. Through political alternation, the return of the PRI to the government with a new generation of leaders has opened the door to long-delayed reforms in the areas of taxation, energy, education, and politics.


The third-largest economy in the world, after a decade of stagnation the country has decided to change its economic policy. The country’s relations with its neighbours continue to be difficult, and its more assertive foreign and security policy is generating mistrust in the immediate area.

South Korea

The country is presented as a model of political, economic, and social success. It has a successfully consolidated political transition, a vibrant economy, and is increasingly becoming a cultural reference. Security in the Korean peninsula may generate a new cooperation dynamic between the great powers of Northeast Asia.


One of the main focal points of instability at the regional and global level. The country plays a key role in Afghanistan, and has difficult relations with its neighbour India. It has special links with Barcelona, because of the size of the Pakistani community in the city.


Strategic plan pdf

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