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Pope To Croatians: Get On The EU Team

  • June 5th, 2011
  • Posted by 7thmin

pope-croatia-reduced.jpgPope Benedict XVI, visiting Croatia this weekend, has declared it very much a part of Europe, saying its aspirations to join the European Union are “logical, just and necessary”.

croatia-flag.jpgCroatia’s application for admission is well advanced and well supported in the EU, but needs approval at a national referendum, with polls giving the proposition barely 50% support.

The political community has been working on its democratic credentials, clearing the decks for membership, with the prosecution of nationalists accused of crimes committed during the violent break-up of Yugoslavia in  the 1990s. See EUAustralia Online, “Former Yugoslavia …”, 17.4.11.

Its population is overwhelmingly Catholic, and the Pope would logically welcome its inclusion in the councils, and counsels of Europe.

Many Croatians however are taking a jaundiced view, recalling over half a century spent as part of a federation of states, Yugoslavia, under what they saw as heavy hegemonic control by Serbia the major partner.

(Some may not be too happy with the prospect of finding Serbia in the EU with them, its chances suddenly enhanced with the arrest of the accused war criminal, Ratko Mledic, see EUAustralia Online,”‘Got Him!’ (Again) …”, 27.5.11).


Independence declared in 1991 satisfied the aspirations of many, like the large diaspora of patriotic Croatian people in several countries, not least Australia.

They celebrated as a separated national culture over the decades, waving the flag, singing the anthem, getting into scuffles at the Football.

Croatia was a relatively prosperous part of Yugoslavia, and as the argument goes, it might achieve a good economic viability either way – inside the EU or on its own.

Key point: it’s a vote; it’s their call.