The Policy Learning Platform organised a peer review in Catalonia in October 2019. The two day meeting was hosted by the government of Catalonia and ACCIÓ, the agency for business competitiveness.

The peer review focused on improving a service of the new department, 'international trade and barriers office', which was launched by ACCIÓ in 2018. The objective was to improve the performance and functioning of the service 'Export Helpdesk'.


ACCIÓ was interested in receiving experts with knowledge and experience for the implementation of new operational processes or services equivalent to the TradeDesk/Export Help Desk. The peer review allowed to discuss the following:

  • Lack of knowledge on potential tools and mechanisms that EU offers to support companies during the internationalisation process.
  • Lack of knowledge on denouncing trade barriers at the European level.
  • Lack of awareness on tools and mechanism awereness that EU offers for agencies like ACCIÓ.
  • Lack of knowledge in how Trade Desk could collaborate with other foreign regional organisations.
  • Lack of an appropriate content manager to keep all the information managed.

Peers from across Europe

Alongside Rene Tonnisson and Luc Schmerber, SME competitiveness experts, brillant peers were invited and participated to the peer review:

  • Peter Jaspers, coordinator of the Domestic Network and Responsable Enterprise Europe Network at Flanders Investment & Trade, Antwerp (Belgium)
  • Steve Samson, Trade Development Manager at Kent County Council, and partner in SIE Interreg Europe project, Kent (UK)

Discover the recommendations and policy advice in the summary report.

Image credit: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels