The EU is dangling the carrot of a 'Free Trade Deal' in front of the members of ASEAN (Association Of South East Asian Nations), but at the same time it is making the prospect of allowing some of the poorest people in the world access to her markets, into a bargaining chip to demand improvements to the legal systems of ASEAN countries.
The Philippines is the first on the EU's list for such an overhaul, and is receiving a visit from Meg Munn the Minister responsible for delivering the EU's 'Joint Assistance Mission' this week.
The Philippines might imagine, as the EU is attempting to improve the legal processes within their country and the way that violent criminals are dealt with, that the EU must itself be whiter than white in all aspects of its dealings with organised criminals.
It would no doubt come as quite a surprise in Manila to hear that in fact there are EU member states where the government is run by the most violent criminals in their countries, and that these are involved, inter alia, in human trafficking. See HERE. (PICTURE - Madeleine McCann abducted in Portugal)
Before the EU sets off around the globe demanding that the highest judicial standards be imposed on others, you would think it might consider getting its own house in order first.
In fact the EU does little to challenge the organised criminals that operate within its own borders, and child abduction, for example is a big business, which the Police do little to stop. The subject rarely even gets into the media - except in notorious cases such as that of Madeleine McCann, who as a 4 year old, was abducted in Portugal last year. The Police there accused her own parents of killing their own daughter to try to silence them.
(Madeleine's wrongly accused parents)
Child abduction is so common in Brussels the capital of the EU, that you see notices at most tram stops from parents searching for their missing children.
The Philippines it would appear generally has far higher standards of caring amongst its citizens and government than the uncaring, bureaucratic and monolithic EU. It is the Philippines which should be demanding improved standards of behaviour and governance from the EU, not the other way around.
But as a trade deal is important for the Philippines, they will no doubt keep quiet about the greater sins being committed on the other side of the world by the EU, with its shocking lack of care for its most viulnerable citizens.
Also see Others Pay Price For EU Foreign Posturing HERE