Well, the peanuts have sqeaked already.
I've taken courses on the EU, Flake
First, you should understand that a great deal of legislation comes from the faceless European Commission, as I'm almost certain this would have. Sometimes you can figure out what they're after; sometimes you can't. The gap between EC members and "constituents" nearly makes the U.S. Electoral College seem like direct democracy in action, as well; there's essentially no way to make the EC accountable to the voting publics.
I'll readily admit that the number of times I've looked into this particular tax, I've still not found anything hinting at the intent of the law (guess I need to hit up Europa to see if I can find it.) It's quite possible it was just another of the endless
I'm sure I could lecture you on trade wars - I would like to assume this is primarily a tax issue, not a competition issue.
Yet if it were about competition:
One, what business does the EU have provoking a trade war? On whose behalf? Philips?
Two, if you think this actually benefits EU consumers, you're even farther out to sea than I could have considered. All this tax does for consumers is force them to pay an extra 5% for capable product; globally, we see that it is directly stunting the DSLR video movement.
The only reason I can think of that the large companies (Canon for example) don't complain loudly is that they have a vested interest in keeping their actual camcorder sales at appropriate levels - this is an artificial barrier to product entry in the markets targeted by pro video products.
All things considered, the sub-30 minute video limit is essentially inconsequential for use. It is, however, a great example of the nasty outlook that gains traction from time to time within the EU (yes, this isn't the only area I know of where there are arbitrary and provincial squabbles over the marketing of items, as the "cohesiveness" of the EU body leads politicians to make decrees or fold over compromises that really should be much more broadly debated, at the very least).