PARIS and THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS — Dutch populist Geert Wilders failed in his election bid to become prime minister in the Netherlands Wednesday. And European leaders couldn't be happier since Wilders said he would pull his country out of the European Union.
While Wilders' defeat was a victory for the European establishment, this could still be a bad year for the EU.
It started with Britain. Now that the British Parliament has cleared the way for "Brexit," London is expected to officially inform the European Union that it's over.
And the next blow for the EU? It comes when French voters send Marine Le Pen of the right-wing National Front to the second round of a presidential election. She too has vowed to take France out of the EU.
It was once unthinkable that the leader of that right-wing political party could ever have a shot to be elected president. It was also unthinkable that France—a founding member of the European Union—would ever leave.
"Why is the EU scared? It's because the European Union knows that European people hate it. That's clear. Each time a referendum has been organized, in the past years, in relations with the EU it has been lost by the EU," Le Pen says.
And across the water, there is a new American president who the European Union has branded a "threat."
What some are calling the "Trump effect" has given a boost to Europe's outsiders.
The Trump effect in Europe is a feeling among outsiders who have been locked out of the political mainstream that if Donald Trump did it, they can too.
Harald Vilimsky of Freedom Party Austria says, "Trump is a winner, we are winners. We are bringing in new times, a new period, and we are going to be fighting against this old system, the old corrupt establishment."
They are Europe's "deplorables." They have been branded extremists, racists, and Nazis. For decades, European leaders and the media — most of them Left-wing by American standards —made sure that the Europe's deplorables stayed marginalized and stigmatized. Some have lost their jobs.
Dutch journalist and university lecturer Chris Aalberts, who is not a supporter of Geert Wilders, told us that the Dutch establishment dislikes Wilders so much, that if he were to join Wilders' party and run for office, it might give him problems at work.
"It is certainly something that would raise eyebrows and would lead to a certain stigma of, 'Ok, can we trust this man?'" Aalberts says.
But the tables are turning on the establishment. The discontent and anger over the way Europe has been mismanaged can no longer be contained.
Even the French have become fed up. And Paris journalist Anne-Elisabeth Moutet blames it all on the bureaucrats in Brussels.
"Instead of addressing this as a real political problem because as we know in politics 'perception is reality,' the leaders in Brussels say, 'No, you don't understand, go back and study some more,'" Moutet says.
"You don't tell voters who don't like you, 'It's your fault and you're wrong,'" Moutet says.
Now Marine Le Pen stands poised for victory in the first round. And while the conventional wisdom is that she cannot win the second round, Europeans also know how wrong the "conventional wisdom" was about Donald Trump.
Le Pen has already drafted a plan to relaunch the French franc and dump the euro.
"Possibly if she wins the French could decide that's enough change for a bit and they don't want to leave Europe or you could argue there is momentum to any victor," Moutet said.
And some think a Frexit, or French exit from the European Union, would all but seal the EU's fate.
Next week will mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which was the beginning of what would become the European Union. It's supposed to be a celebration.
But some will be wondering how many more years the European Union has before it could be over.