(Bloomberg) -- Cyber-terrorists could be planning to undermine elections in France and Germany, the European Union warned, as tensions grow at the start of what could prove a pivotal year for the bloc.

With nationalist Marine Le Pen in the running to become French president and Chancellor Angela Merkel fighting off anti-establishment forces as she seeks re-election in Germany, the EU said it is vital that governments shore up defenses against online threats from states and rogue cyber-gangs.

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