Ref. Ares(2019)3384581 - 23/05/2019
Ref. Ares(2019)3498126 - 29/05/2019
Commissioner Karmenu VELLA
Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Meeting with His Excellency Monsignor Lebeaupin,
Apostolic Nuncio to the EU
7 December 2015 – 15H30
Member of Cabinet responsible: Gabriella PACE
Member accompanying:Gabriella Pace
24 NOVEMBER 2015
• The Encyclical‘s all-embracing nature
is very timely.
• I welcome the natural environment being seen as "a collective
", the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of
everyone". I fully agree that there is a close relationship between
environmental challenges, and social and human issues.
• Many of the topics referred to in the text lie at the very heart of
what we are trying to achieve. The EU is deeply committed to
sustainability and environmental protection and together with our
Member States, we work to provide our citizens with a clean and
• The EU has also taken a consistent leadership in the full range of
international initiatives addressing global environment and
• 'Laudato Si' was often referred to in the final discussions on the
Sustainable Development Goals.
The outcome is a significant
step forward as it charts a path towards sustainability for the world,
with clear responsibilities for all countries.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2) SPEAKING POINTS
3) DEFENSIVE POINTS
4) BACKGROUND INFORMATION
CV OF H.E MONSIGNOR LEBEAUPIN
JUNCKER TO POPE
ARES(2015)3168934 - 28/07/2015)
You are meeting His Excellency Monsignor Lebeaupin, the Apostolic Nuncio to the European
Union. The discussion will focus on the 'Laudato Si' and relations with the Holy See.
His Holiness Pope Francis has voiced his opinion on consumerism and irresponsible
development, environmental degradation and climate change through his second Encyclical “Laudato Si’ - On care for our common home”
. The strong stance of His Holiness in linking
sustainable development and the fight against poverty has nurtured discussion all over the
world and his words have helped in creating momentum on the road to COP21.
President Juncker replied to the Encyclical on 28 July, referring to the Sustainable
Development Goals and the climate change negotiations in December. President Juncker
hoped that the Encyclical would serve as a wake-up call and encourage people to address
our common future.
At the initiative of the Italian government and in light of “Laudato Si’ - On care for our
common home”, His Holiness met you, Commissioner Arias Cañete and the EU’s 28
Ministers of Environment and Climate on 16 September in the Vatican City for a high level
exchange of views. In his address, the Pope underlined the need for environmental policies
to follow three key principles: solidarity, justice and participation.
The High Representative and Vice-President Mogherini met Mons. Lebeaupin on 22 July in
Brussels when they agreed to establish a more structured form of cooperation on two main
priority areas: Latin America and Caribbean, and sustainable development within the context
of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
You may wish to emphasise the EU's commitment to environmental protection and to the
2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. As regards international commitment
(MEAs), you should encourage support for CITES. The accession of the Holy See to CITES
would be an important symbolic gesture and the best way to dispel any doubts on the role of
the Vatican in illegal ivory trade.
• To underline the EU’s commitment to improve the state of our environment for current
and future generations.
• To explain that the EU has strong policies in place and has just adopted a new circular
• To highlight the EU's support for the Sustainable Development Goals as a transformative
agenda to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development globally, and the EU's
commitment to the implementation of the goals within the EU and with partner countries.
• To encourage the Vatican to play a role by showing support for Multilateral Environmental
Agreements (MEAs) (e.g. CITES, by addressing the issue of ivory trafficking).
link to page 5
• I am impressed by the all-embracing nature of the
in terms of the environmental challenges and
Lines of Action.
• I welcome that the natural environment is seen as "a
collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the
responsibility of everyone
"1. I ful
ly agree with you that there is
a close relationship between environmental challenges, and
social and human issues.
• Many of the topics referred to lie at the very heart of what we
are trying to achieve with the EU’s environment policy
where together with Member States, regions, citizens and
businesses we are working to improve the environment for
• In terms of EU action in particular policy fields, our air
policy has contributed to considerable improvements
in air quality over the past decades.
• The EU has a whole set of water-
related legislation in place
to protect the quality of its drinking water, and improve the
management of rivers and other water bodies.
1 NB this and following "quotes
" are from the Encyclical
• We also have ambitious legislation for marine waters
achieve their Good Environmental Status by 2020 and to
protect the resource base upon which marine-related
economic and social activities depend. This includes tackling
marine litter with close links to EU legislation on waste.
• The EU is also committed to halting biodiversity
the EU by 2020 and the EU's Birds and Habitats Directives,
which are the core of the EU nature legislation, have been
instrumental in preserving species and protecting habitats
For example, over the last 25 years the EU has built up a
vast network of protected areas, Natura 2000, amounting to
18% of the EU’s land area.
• To move away from the "throw-away culture
" that His
Holiness rightly condemns, the EU wants to transform itself
into a Circular Economy
. The European Commission has
just put forward a package of measures to promote a
"circular model of producing
", reducing waste and enhancing
recycling. We support consumption models that favour
"sharing" over "owning". Such efforts will help reduce and
eventually reverse the excessive pressure on our planet's
• This new Circular Economy strategy includes a legislative
proposal on waste recycling targets and an action plan
covering the whole life cycle of products and materials - from
their design and production - to consumption and re-use or
• The shift to a Circular Economy will never come about as a
result of legislation alone. We need the support and
commitment of business and other stakeholders. Voluntary
instruments (such as eco-labelling) will also play an important
role in disseminating good practices.
• The EU is also cognisant of its shared responsibility to help
address global challenges, and reduce the impact of EU
activities outside its own borders
. As an example, the EU
prohibits the placing on the market of illegally-logged timber.
• Some positive examples of global action are referred to
in the ‘Laudato Si’
, among them CITES (Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora), where we would welcome the Holy See’s support
for instance, in addressing the issue of ivory trafficking. We
also hope that the Holy See will become a Party to the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
• 'Laudato Si' was referred to in the final discussions on the
Sustainable Development Goals. The outcome is a
significant step forward as it charts a path towards
sustainability. It provides the ambitious result that we were
seeking with integrated, universal and transformational SDGs
at its core, fully integrating the three dimensions of
• For this, it is important that the climate conference (COP 21)
taking place at the moment in Paris is a success. A top
priority for the EU and its Member States this year securing
an ambitious, global, legally binding agreement, effective at
keeping the world on track for the agreed objective of limiting
the increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees,
• The agreement should help accelerate the transition to low-
carbon, climate-resilient societies and as such will be a very
important pillar of a broader sustainable development agenda
the international community has been working on this year.
The EU believes that a multilateral approach, based on
common rules, is the best way to meet this objective and
ensure Paris is a success.
• In order to implement the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable
Development, the EU is committed to reflect the goals and
targets in its external policies and in its relations with key
partners. Internally, we already have much in place to help us
achieve these goals, but the ambitious and transformative
nature of the SDGs will require the EU to deliver a beyond
“business as usual” response.
link to page 9 link to page 9
Does the EU consider revising its growth model, recognising that often "people’s
quality of life actually diminishes – by the deterioration of the environment, the low
quality of food or the depletion of resources – in the midst of economic growth"?
Europe has experienced a financial and economic crisis over recent years that has left
many European citizens worse off. The crisis has had a number of worrying social
impacts, such as high levels of youth unemployment and increased social vulnerability.
The European Commission's overarching priority is therefore to bring back jobs and
growth to Europe. We also want to maintain social cohesion and ensure that the benefits
of growth are widely enjoyed.
This view of balanced growth that is good for all is at the heart of the Europe 2020
strategy, launched in 2010 as the basis for sustainable growth in the EU. This strategy
goes beyond mere economic development and encompasses wider dimensions, such as
resource efficiency, climate and energy. We also recognise that progress should not be
measured by GDP alone, and so the Commission is continuing its work on developing
indicators and composite indices to complement GDP through its "Beyond GDP"
Humanitarian crises and wars in the Middle East and elsewhere have increased the
number of those seeking refuge in the EU. The impacts of climate change will be felt
increasingly in those parts of the world that already now suffer from floods, water
scarcity and other hazards. How will the EU accommodate an increasing number of
environmental migrants in the future?
The EU recognises the need to address the environmental drivers of migration, most
notably water scarcity and land degradation, which can result in people moving from rural
areas in particular to seek improved living conditions elsewhere. The EU is tackling these
issues through funding for programmes to support sustainable agriculture, including
climate-smart agriculture and more efficient water management in affected countries and
where possible to reverse the trend of land degradation through sustainable land
management, including re-forestation.
We have specific funding programmes to support communities around the
Mediterranean, in particular the Initiative for a cleaner Mediterranean by the year 2020,
and programmes that promote the sustainable management of water resources. We also
support Mediterranean communities to switch to more sustainable consumption and
production practices and to adapt to climate change. The EU has committed for the next
two years almost €700 million between bilateral and regional support on programmes that
directly or indirectly address environmental and climate change issues.
The EU will also continue providing substantial support to communities hosting large
numbers of refugees in the Middle East, such as Jordan (€160 million)2
to increase their resilience, ensure long-term sustainability. The EU
acknowledges the additional pressure of the large influx of refugees on the environment
of those countries, particularly in relation to management of water and waste-water, solid
waste management, air quality, land use and ecosystems. In post-conflict areas, the EU
2 Since the beginning of the conflict
3 Since the beginning of the conflict
also contributes to environmental restoration (e.g., soil de-contamination, land
restoration, water de-pollution) to pave the way to economic recovery.
link to page 11
The relations between the EU and the Holy See
The High Representative and Vice President Mogherini met the Papal Nuncio to the EU, H.E.
Mons. Lebeaupin on 22 July in Brussels when they agreed to establish a more structured
form of cooperation on two main priority areas: Latin America and Caribbean and sustainable
development within the context of the UN 2030 Agenda.
The Holy See has been very active on the international scene since Pope Francis took office,
taking initiatives and making statements on the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Belarus,
migration, inter-religious dialogue and terrorism, among others. Pope Francis’ mediation
between the USA and Cuba played a significant role in putting these countries on the path to
reconciliation. The Pope is also strongly engaged in tackling global challenges
poverty, environmental degradation (publication of Encyclical Laudato Si
’ in June) and
Mons. Lebeaupin regularly facilitates meetings between senior clerics from around the world
and EU officials. Prior to the arrival of Mons. Lebeaupin in 2012, there were few institutional
contacts between the Nunciature and the EU for a number of reasons, such as
on both sides and disappointment on the part of the Holy See regarding
certain EU developments (such as the lack of an explicit reference to Christian values in the
Lisbon Treaty). Pope Francis
paid his first official visit to the European Parliament (and the EU) in Strasburg
in Nov 2014, the first Pontiff to do so since Pope Jean-Paul II in 1988. This was a strong
signal of the importance that the Holy See attaches to its relations with the EU.
The EU has concluded a Revised Monetary Agreement
with the Vatican City State on the
use of the euro as its official currency. The EU maintains an open, transparent and regular
dialogue with the Catholic Churches in the EU Member States (represented in Brussels by
the Catholic Bishops Conference/COMECE
) as part of the ongoing dialogue with
Churches, religious communities or associations as well as philosophical and non-
confessional organisations under Article 17
TFEU. This dialogue is separate
from the EU's
diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The COMECE is led by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the
Archbishop of Munich and Freising, who is also a member of the Group of Cardinals ("C9")
charged with advising Pope Francis on constitutional reform.
The European Economic Community and the Holy See established diplomatic relations
1970. The EU Delegation in Rome was accredited to the Holy See in 2006. The Head of EU
Delegation, who chairs meetings of EU Member State Heads of Mission to the Holy See,
regularly invites senior Holy See officials for exchanges of views on a wide range of issues.
The encyclical letter "Laudato si" of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, on care for our
was published on 18 June 2015. It provoked wide media attention. The
Encyclical is an extensive document in size and in its coverage of topics relating to the 4 http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-
etailed summary available from the Vatican Information Service: http://www.vis.va/vissolr/index.php?vi=all&dl=33552f9d-0789-2072-0012-
environment but also to the economic and the financial system and the social consequences
of environmental deterioration. In six chapters, Pope Francis
1. sets out the environmental challenges the Earth is facing (What is happening to our
) incl. in areas in the competence of DG ENV, such as biodiversity loss,
water, in particular access to clean drinking water globally, (excessive) resource use, air
pollution and its health impacts, soil and its degradation through unsustainable
agricultural techniques, the (un)sustainability of cities, the benefits from and protection of
forests, woodlands and wetlands, but also climate change and excessive consumption of
2. explains why believers of the Christian religion (and other religions) should care about
environmental degradation (The gospel of creation
3. explains the human roots of the ecological crisis
, lamenting that "modern
anthropocentrism has ended up prizing technical thought over reality" and recalls that "in
order to continue providing employment, it is imperative to promote an economy which
favours productive diversity and business creativity";
4. puts forward his concept of Integral ecology
that links environmental challenges to their
economic (growth), social and cultural dimension and recalls the need to consider all of
these to attain the "common good", while being just to future generations;
5. proposes Lines of approach and action
, lauding the global ecological movement and
several international negotiations (he mentions as positive examples the Basel
Convention, CITES, Montreal Protocol, whereas less progress has been achieved on
climate change and biodiversity conventions) and, in the context of ocean governance
and marine litter, calling for "an agreement on systems of governance for the whole
range of so-called 'global commons'". He also asks us "to grow in the conviction that a
decrease in the pace of production and consumption can at times give rise to another
form of progress and development". He points out that "environmental impact
assessment should not come after the drawing up of a business proposition or the
proposal of a particular policy, plan or programme. It should be part of the process from
the beginning, and be carried out in a way which is interdisciplinary, transparent and free
of all economic or political pressure".
6. and finally closes by pointing out that “change is impossible without motivation and a
process of education” (Ecological education and spirituality
). The aim should be to pursue
"a new lifestyle”. He points out the power consumers have through their choices in
"changing the way businesses operate, forcing them to consider their environmental
footprint and their patterns of production".
The Encyclical can also claim to have left its mark on the SDG negotiations. The Holy See and CITES and the CBD
The Holy See is not a Party to CITES. This has raised criticisms from some media that the
Vatican does not have the adequate tools to deal with trade in religious items made of ivory
products and make sure that they are not of illegal origin. In view of the current surge in
wildlife trafficking and in line with the support shown in the Encyclical for CITES, the
accession of the Holy See to CITES would be an important symbolic gesture and the best
way to dispel any doubts on the role of the Vatican in illegal ivory trade.
Concerning the CBD, there are only two countries missing, the Holy See and the USA, to
make it the first 'universal' convention.
Briefing prepared by:
With contributions from:
CV OF HIS EXCELLENCY, MONSIGNOR LEBEAUPIN,
ARCHBISHOP AND APOSTOLIC NUNCIO TO THE EU
Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin
was born in Paris, France, on 2 March
1945. He is the Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union.
Monsignor Lebeaupin was ordained priest on 28 June 1975 for the Diocese of Nice after
studying at the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome.
He holds a Doctorate in Civil Law and Masters in Canon Law and Theology.
Monsignor Lebeaupin entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1979.
His first appointment was to the Holy See Observer Mission to the UN in New York, USA
(1979 - 1982). Later he served in the Apostolic Nunciature in the Dominican Republic (1982-
1985) and at the Apostolic Delegation in Mozambique (1985 - 1989).
From 1989 to 1998, Archbishop Lebeaupin served at the Conference on Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). On 27 March 1996, he was concurrently appointed Charge
of the Apostolic Nunciature to the EU.
On 7 December 1998, with the title of Titular Archbishop of Vico Equense
, Lebeaupin was
appointed the Apostolic Nuncio to Ecuador. He was consecrated by His Holiness Pope John
Paul II on 6 January 1999.
On 14 January 2005, Archbishop Lebeaupin was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN- HABITAT).
On 23 June 2012 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union.
LETTER PRESIDENT JUNCKER TO POPE FRANCIS