Three of the EU's founding Member States have been or will go to the polls in 2017: Germany, France and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, other European democratic exericses offer useful insights into the way the biggest issues are being discussed in capitals across the continent.
Each one of these elections could have significant existential implications for the EU, in addition to the national impact, as the bloc is buffeted by numerous threats ranging from Brexit to a new US administration.
Held in March, the Dutch elections were hailed with a sigh of relief among European institutional stakeholders, revealing as they did a populace ill-inclined to embrace the headline-catching populists of Geert Wilders' right-wing movement.
A relative newcomer to the EU, Bulgaria's March elections revealed a snapshot of current political debate in the continent's east. The Balkan nation held a snap poll this spring which produced a win for the previous Prime Minister Boiko Borisov and his pro-EU GERB party.
Creating perhaps the most nervousness this year was the French Presidential election, with foreign coverage dominated by the figure of Front National candidate Marine Le Pen. May brought the news that Emmanuel Macron had triumphed over the far-right challenger, but political hurdles remained for the newly-victorious En Marche! figurehead.
Still a member state despite the triggering of Article 50 in late March, the UK went to the polls in a snap General Election in June, with the nation deeply divided over Brexit. While EU leaders lamented the distraction away from the serious international negotiations to come, the contest produced a shock result with major reverberations in the tone the nation will strike in its biggest diplomatic test.
The other key EU state going to the polls in 2017 is Germany, which will hold a federal election on 25 September. While the mainstream of German politics does not look as threatened by the right wing as in some other member states, Chancellor Angela Merkel has a crucial role in the union, and her party's fortunes will be closely followed.
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John works as a Political Analyst within the DeHavilland Editorial Team, where he has a special focus on Brexit and business. He holds a Masters degree in International Relations and European Politics from the University of Bath, and has also studied at the University of York and Universität Regensburg, Germany. John has previously worked at PEN International and European Movement.