The prime function of the Institute is to coordinate public sector policy on remembrance. To that end, it coordinate the actions of the various institutions and social organisations that work in the field of remembrance and in promoting human rights, striving to achieve cooperation and collaboration between them, guaranteeing the broadest possible links with society.
The Institute has the following specific functions:
- Commemoration: the organising of programmes, publications, academic and cultural activities and events in general to keep alive the testimonies and memories of people and events significant for the formation of a free, democratic society.
- Conservation: the conserving of the heritage of democratic remembrance in the Basque Country in all its material forms. To that end, its activities shall include the establishment and maintenance of information archives and inventories of items and places linked to remembrance, be they objects, physical locations, social contexts or other elements that can serve for identification and social recognition.
- Investigation: the promoting of research and cooperation with institutions, specialist organisations and forums for discussion, creating such documentary infrastructures as may be necessary to collect information and accurate data through research work and study. These infrastructures are to be used to construct remembrance and coexistence, and to disseminate and report same.
- Education: the establishing of the essential principles of coexistence and remembrance on the basis of recognition and respect for the fundamental rights of individuals through the education community and in groups that may be at risk of suffering or causing breaches of such rights, or that require social rehabilitation.
- Participation and dissemination: considering the heritage of remembrance as a right, the administration has a duty to guarantee access to it by the public as a whole.
- Integration: the fostering of joint efforts and communication between institutions and public and private bodies whose purposes are similar or complementary to those of the Institute, including the signing of such protocols and cooperation and collaboration agreements as may be necessary to set up a network of remembrance and coexistence infrastructures covering centres of all kinds whose goals coincide with those of the Institute.
- Consultation: the issuing of reports on topics concerned with the purposes of the Institute, at the request of public administrations.