I saw one news report quoting a cardinal on the reasons the new pope gave for the name Benedict. One is that the previous Benedict, the 15th, was a pope who sought peace during the onslaught of World War I. That war brought terrible devastation to Europe at the beginning of the bloody 20th century. Hopefully the new Pope Benedict's efforts for peace won't be disregarded.
The other reason has to do with St. Benedict being a co-patron of Europe. The Pope is evidently concerned about the loss of faith and the rise of secularism in Europe.