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Emmanuel Katrakis Passing the Baton to Julia Blees as EuRIC’s New Secretary General

24 January 2024

Emmanuel Katrakis, who has served as EuRIC’s Secretary General since the association’s establishment in 2014, has decided to step down as of March. Julia Blees, EuRIC’s Policy Director is poised to carry forward the association’s vision and mission, which is celebrating its momentous 10th anniversary this year.

Under Emmanuel Katrakis' leadership, EuRIC has experienced remarkable growth, becoming an indispensable partner in advancing the circular economy and sustainability initiatives across Europe. His vision, commitment, and tireless dedication have positioned EuRIC as a key contributor to Europe’s green transition and an indispensable interlocutor of European institutions.

Reflecting on his decision to step down, Emmanuel Katrakis commented, "Leading EuRIC for the past 10 years has been an incredible journey. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together. In ten years, we have more than doubled the number of resource streams we represent, quadrupled in members, and welcomed a new team member every year. As I transition to new opportunities, I am confident that Julia Blees, with the support of EuRIC’s Board, Members and Team, will thrive in her new duties and successfully spearhead the efforts towards the circular future our industry strives for."

The appointment of Julia Blees as the new Secretary General, set to take over in early April, was made during EuRIC’s latest Board meeting in January 2024. Until the end of March, Emmanuel Katrakis and Julia Blees will work closely together with the Team to ensure the smoothest leadership transition.

“EuRIC has been the voice of the recycling industry in Brussels for the past 10 years. After 5 years of contributing to this journey and actively engaging with stakeholders, I am excited to lead the efforts as of April and continue to weave new opportunities for EuRIC and the recycling industry,” stated Julia Blees.

Julia Blees is a German lawyer and holds a Master of Laws from the U.S. She has been managing EuRIC’s Paper and Textiles Branch, as well as handling all international and legal matters. In addition to managing the association’s challenging portfolio, Julia Blees is set to continue EuRIC’s legacy and maintain strong connections with the EU institutions and circular economy stakeholders.

“EuRIC continues its proud journey towards gender balance in leadership positions, with Julia Blees becoming the first woman appointed as Secretary General”, the President of EuRIC, Olivier Francois stated.



Note to editor:

For press-related enquiries, please contact Zoi Didili, EuRIC Communications Advisor, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at +32 (0) 489 09 46 02.

The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) is the umbrella organisation for the recycling industries in Europe. Through its 75 members from 23 European countries, EuRIC represents more than 5,500 large companies and SMEs involved in the recycling and trade of various resource streams. They represent a contribution of 95 billion EUR to the EU economy and 300,000 green and local jobs. By turning waste into resources, recycling reintroduces valuable materials into value chains over and over again. By bridging circularity and climate neutrality, recyclers are pioneers in leading Europe’s industrial transition.