The European Union is not a country. It isn't a state, it isn't a geopolitical entity. It is a forum, a virtual table around which 27 sovereign countries sit and discuss. These countries have vastly different interests and priorities and this is by far and away the biggest reason why the EU is in a bad shape.
These 27 countries, with different degrees of strength, are satellites of the United States.
In short, European Union countries just do what the United States allows them to do. Nothing more, nothing less. This becomes glaringly obvious when representatives of the Union are regularly snubbed during international meetings.
The media love to say it has to do with manners but that's just red herring. The EU isn't a company and the chairman isn't a CEO. This is the reason why high-ranking EU officials consistently bash crypto without actually doing anything about it.
That's because, for the most part, they can't.
The EU is desperate to save the EURO, which is beginning to look like a failed project, but everytime they propose a new law and pass a new bill, the crypto market goes: "oh no! anyway", and just carries on.
Within the boundaries of the European Union, you have countries that are at the forefront when it comes to crypto like Slovenia and Portugal, and you also have countries that simply ignore it, like Italy, mostly because they've no idea what it is or how it works.
Crypto won't exactly self-regulate, but because of the way it works, it will keep on playing by its own rules, gradually (and slowly) bending regulators around it.
I am, whether I like it or not, a citizen of the European Union, even though I no longer live in an EU country. There are things about this entity that I quite like - freedom of movement (and trade) is certainly one of those - and others I don't really like.
But that's the beauty of crypto. At the end of the day, my opinion doesn't matter. It doesn't make a difference. And that's true for me, you, and at a fundamental level, even for the president of European Commission.
I've crossposted this article on Bitcoinea and LeoFinance.