Elections Across Europe Won’t Hinder Bloc’s Crypto Ambitions

Upcoming elections in Europe are not going to hinder the European Union’s regulatory framework – the Markets in Crypto Assets legislation taking effect this year – crypto advocates said.

The European Parliament elections that just wrapped up could point to possible local election results, which are unlikely to affect crypto legislation at the national level.

Elections happening across Europe are not likely to affect the European Union’s crypto legislation and incoming policies, industry advocates say.

The European Union had its bloc-wide election earlier this month, resulting in a substantial shift in power over the next five years. In the wake of that election, EU member nations France, Austria, Germany and others announced their own elections for the coming months, with additional elections expected to occur by next year.

Already this year has seen elections in Croatia, Finland, Lithuania and Portugal, while a new president was elected in Hungary.

The European Parliament (EP) election wrapped up on June 9. Parliament ended up leaning slightly more towards the right after votes in the 27 different member nations were tallied. This shift could make room for more innovation-friendly policies and is partly thanks to appointments from France and Austria, said Mark Foster, the EU policy lead at the Crypto Council for Innovation. Officials like Stefan Berger, Ondrej Kovarik and Irene Tingali, who played a key role in the EU’s crypto journey, were re-elected to their posts.

The EU’s wide-ranging package for crypto, the Markets in Crypto Assets legislation (MiCA), was passed into law last year and will begin taking effect this year. Stablecoin measures from this bundle of rules will enter into force on June 30, while the rest of the legislation will take effect in December.

“The elections do not have any bearing whatsoever on MiCA in its current form,” said Jonathan Galea, CEO of BCAS, a regulatory consultancy firm, in a statement which said the package was already finalized.

While the European elections won’t directly affect MiCA, each individual nation is responsible for providing crypto firms with licensing regimes to fulfill the bloc’s requirements for companies. Most countries already feel prepared for MiCA implementation, regulators previously told CoinDesk.

“The national/EP elections won’t really impact implementation which passes to the EU authorities … as well as national competent authorities,” Foster said in his statement, which referred to the European Banking Authority and European Securities and Markets Authority.

More general elections are expected to occur this year. France’s president Emmanuel Macron called a surprise parliamentary election (separate from the country’s presidential election) after his ruling Renaissance party secured only about half the seats that the right-wing Marine Le Pen’s National Rally received in the European Parliament election.

France is due to have two rounds of voting on June 30 and July 7, and the result is unlikely to undo the legislation passed around crypto so far. Seventy-four companies have already registered in France, and local officials expect that number to jump to 100 this year as regulators look to attract more digital asset firms.

Austria is also expected to hold a general election this year on Sept. 29, where a new National Council – which proposes and passes laws – will be chosen (again different from the presidential election). Polls suggest that the far-right Freedom Party is currently leading over its rivals.

Next year, Germany, one of the EU’s biggest nations with the most EU parliament seats, will also be heading to the polls. The country will be hosting its national German Bundestag election, where citizens cast votes on the country’s legislative body.

In the European Parliament elections, the controversial far-right Alternative for Germany came in second place in the country by securing 15.9% of the 96 seats on offer for the nation, even defeating the country’s coalition parties – the Greens, the Social Democrat Party and Free Democratic Party.

“Whilst I’d expect the broader trend of right and far-right parties to be replicated domestically, particularly in France, Austria and also Germany, in due course, I do not believe the far right parties will achieve the same level of support as they did in the EP elections,” Foster said.

The Republic of Ireland, which has awarded a license to the Coinbase exchange, registered crypto infrastructure firm Ramp Network and exchange Crypto.com and more is also due to have a general election either late this year or in early 2025.

Sinn Féin has lost some of its popularity in the country. In the 2022 Assembly elections, Sinn Féin became the first nationalist party to win the most seats in the election and the Democratic Unionist Party came in second place. However, Sinn Féin came in fourth place at the recent EP elections while the right-wing Fine Gael came first and right-wing Fianna Fáil came second.

Meanwhile, Ukraine was expected to have an election this year as its current President Volodymyr Zelensky’s term has expired, but the nation wants the war against Russia to end before hosting another election, the BBC reported in May.

The Czech Republic, Republic of Cyprus, Estonia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Spain held elections last year. Denmark, Hungary, Slovenia, Latvia and Sweden should have elections in 2026. Malta and Italy are meant to have their elections in 2027, when France will hold its next presidential election.

Following the recent elections, each head of state – represented in the European Council – designates their Commission candidate and the European Parliament has a final say on this.

The crypto community in Europe is looking for blockchain rules to be put in place. However, the role of creating new legislation falls on the EU Commission, the bloc’s executive body and no changes will be made until commissioners set out their priorities later this year.

Blockchain for Europe Secretary General Robert Kopitsch believes that the current president – Ursula von der Leyen – is likely to be re-elected, he said during CoinDesk’s Consensus 2024 conference. EU leaders have already endorsed von der Leyen to run for a second term. The EU Parliament will vote on the body’s president next month.

It’s unclear what effect her re-appointment would have on crypto, Kopitsch noted that crypto “is not a tier one issue” in the region.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

4Coinz ©. All rights reserved.