Croatia: Pope: EU good for the soul
6 June 2011
“Croats, fear not the European Union (EU)!” Paraphrasing the cry launched by John Paul II to peoples under the communist yoke, [Vecernji list sums up](http://Vecernji list’s report on the Pope's visit (hr): http://www.vecernji.hr/dolazak-pape/)the appeal made by Pope Benedict XVI during his pastoral visit to the “little Poland in the south” on 4 and 5 June. “It is logical, just and necessary that the Croats enter the EU,” the Pope said during an outdoor mass. Croatia, a small country, is 90 percent Catholic. The Pope spoke, among other things, in favour of Zagreb’s integration into Europe, in the hope it would be “an opportunity to preserve and revitalise the priceless heritage of common human and Christian values” on the Old Continent. Negotiations for Croatia’s entry began in 2005, but could not be completed before the end of June, which has put off its official accession until mid-2013.