Peter Wilhelm, one of Europe’s most experienced retail real estate and urban neighborhood developers and long-standing member of The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), has taken over as the Chair of ICSC’s high profile European Public Affairs Committee.
ICSC Europe Managing Director, Mike Morrissey, said: “We are delighted to welcome Peter to the role. He takes over from Bertrand Courtois-Suffit who has led the committee very successfully over the last five years, building it up to become the voice of Europe’s retail real estate community at the heart of the European Parliament.”
ICSC has further strengthened its public affairs team through the appointment of Iffat Memon as European Public Affairs Manager. With more than ten years’ experience in public affairs, Iffat’s appointment will add further weight to ICSC’s advocacy work in Europe. “Working alongside EPAC members, my aim is to raise the profile of ICSC Europe in Brussels by ensuring that MEPs, civil servants and stakeholders recognize us as the lead trade association representing the retail real estate industry,” said Iffat.
Peter said: “Our biggest achievement over the last 12 months has been persuading the European Parliament in Brussels to amend the first draft of its Retail Action Plan. The Plan inferred that independent retailers did not have access to shopping centers. The reverse is true. Independent and small retailers provide excitement in shopping centers and our industry gives them opportunities to grow. The Retail Action Plan was also advocating a curb on the development of new shopping centers, until we presented substantial research that showed the major contribution they make to European economies and employment.”
Peter added: “When ICSC first met with EU representatives and MEPs over five years’ ago, they were not aware that such a thing as the ‘retail real estate’ industry existed. We have come a very long way since then thanks to the tremendous work done by Bertrand Courtois-Suffit and the European Public Affairs Committee members. ICSC members have devoted much time and energy to this issue and it’s made a big difference as to how our industry is perceived within the European Union. As a result, ICSC Europe is now firmly on the EU’s agenda, our expertise and policy input are recognized by those in power in Brussels and we will continue to build on that solid foundation.”
Source: ICSC Europe