Crypto

EU Vote Reelects Key Crypto Legislators Amid Shift to Right

Key crypto legislators Berger, Kovarik, and Tingali re-elected among 720 MEPs, signaling potential for innovation-friendly policies.

By Athena Xu

6/10, 13:06 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • Key figures in the EU's crypto legislation, including Stefan Berger and Ondrej Kovarik, have been reelected, potentially retaining influential roles.
  • The European Parliament has shifted slightly to the right, with the center-right European People's Party increasing its seats from 176 to 186.
  • A strengthened EPP and weakened Green Party may lead to a more innovation-friendly policy framework over the next five years.

Key Figures Re-Elected

The recent European Parliament (EP) election has seen the reappointment of several key figures who have significantly influenced the bloc's crypto legislation. Among the 720 members elected, Stefan Berger, the rapporteur for the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation, Ondrej Kovarik, and Irene Tingali, the former chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), have retained their seats. Mark Foster, the EU policy lead at the Crypto Council for Innovation, noted, "Berger and Kovarik were rapporteurs on digital euro and payment services directive respectively. There’s no guarantee they will return to ECON but if they do, chances are they will retain these roles." Foster also highlighted that both Berger and Kovarik were active on MiCA, with Berger serving as rapporteur and Kovarik as shadow rapporteur. Tingali, who was the ECON chair, is expected to attempt to retain her influential role, which involves participating in all trilogue negotiations—informal meetings between representatives of the parliament, the European Council, and the European Commission on legislative development.

Political Shift and Implications

The election results indicate a slight shift to the right within the European Parliament, although not as extreme as some had anticipated. The most significant changes occurred in Austria and France. In France, President Emmanuel Macron called a snap election after the National Rally secured almost double the number of seats compared to his center-right grouping. In Austria, the Freedom Party is set to win 27% of the nation's seats, more than any other party. The center-right European People's Party (EPP) remains the largest block, growing from 176 seats in the previous parliament to a predicted 186 seats now. The Identity and Democracy group, which includes France's Rally National and Austria's Freedom Party, has expanded from 49 to a forecasted 58 seats. Foster commented, "The slight shift to the right, combined with a strengthened EPP and a weakened Green Party may well see a greater focus over the next five years on competitiveness and growth. This could lead to a more enabling framework for innovation-friendly policies."

Future of Crypto Legislation

While crypto was not a central theme in the EU elections, the future of crypto legislation will largely depend on the new commissioners who will be selected post-election. MEPs, although influential in shaping and deciding on legislation, cannot propose new laws. Some members of the crypto community are advocating for more blockchain policies, but the direction will ultimately be determined by the new commissioners. Foster emphasized the potential for a more innovation-friendly environment, stating, "This could lead to a more enabling framework for innovation-friendly policies."

Street Views

  • Mark Foster, Crypto Council for Innovation (Neutral on the EU Parliament's shift):

    "Berger and Kovarik were rapporteurs (so leading EP work) on digital euro and payment services directive respectively. There’s no guarantee they will return to ECON but if they do, chances are they will retain these roles."
    "They were also both active on MiCA, as rapporteur and shadow rapporteur respectively. Tingali was ECON chair. I think she wants to try to keep that role. It’s influential as the chair is involved in all the negotiations at trilogue."
    "The slight shift to the right, combined with a strengthened EPP and a weakened Green Party may well see a greater focus over the next five years on competitiveness and growth... This could lead to a more enabling framework for innovation-friendly policies."