Research at the Royal Institute is focused on the coordination of working groups and the publication of their conclusions in documents, books and specialised journals.

The Royal Institute currently promotes nine areas of priority research:

  1. Constitutional and institutional development of the European Union
  2. International relations
  3. Justice and Home Affairs
  4. Competition and regulation in the single market
  5. European economy
  6. European cultural identity
  7. Development cooperation
  8. Arbitration
  9. Global Law and Policy

There are two specialized Sections grouping these various activities at the IES: the Competition and Regulation Policy Centre and the Centre for Development Cooperation.

The Competition and Regulation Policy Centre is in charge of studying the functioning of competition policies and competition in present-day societies within the framework of current national, EU and international law. One of its activities is the publishing of the Competition Policy Work Documents series.

The Centre for Development Cooperation (CECOD) comprises the Institute for European Studies, the CODESPA Foundation and the consulting company Soluziona). Its aim is to organize activities and research projects in relation to development cooperation from a European standpoint. The CECOD is a cross-disciplinary centre bringing together various different spheres of academia and society as a whole: the university community, the Civil Service, Non-Governmental Organisations and companies.

The European Documentation Centre (EDC) of San Pablo-CEU University belongs to the information centre net created by the European Commission in order to make EU information and documentation available to the entire academic community as well as to any institution or interested citizen.

It is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary centre with free access that supports the research and teaching activities of the Royal University Institute for European Studies. It has a large documentary base focused on European subjects (official publications of the European Communities, periodic publications, monographs, databases and other sources) that can be consulted at the office of the centre.