Here is a transcript of BBC Europe Editor Katya Adler's contribution to this morning's look-ahead on Radio 4's (
far-right) Today programme. What do you make of what she said?
Matthew Price: And Katya Adler, Lyse Doucet there mentions Islamic State's, so-called Islamic State, fighters lying low in Europe, and that is one of the motivations behind the populism trend that you've witnessed in Europe, even though there were those big election victories for non-populists, so-called.
Katya Adler: I think 2016 was seen as the year of the populist or the year of the anti-establishment figure in Europe. 2017 saw President Macron being elected in France, it saw Geert Wilders not becoming Prime Minister in the Netherlands; Austria at the end 2016 voted a former Green party leader as its president. But I think if you look at it actually, 2017 was very much the year of the populist anti-establishment, because I think that their discourse has bled very much into mainstream politics. And we've just had, now at the end of 2017, the formation of the new Austrian government. for example, where the centre-right is now married with the far-right, but also Germany - of all countries - the fact that the AfD performed so well in the elections in 2017, and we will probably in 2018 see the formation of another GroKo, as they call it: a grand coalition between the centre-left and centre-right, which is anathema to many, many Germans. And I think in the end this will only go to fuel the far-right AfD, and also the Liberal Democrats. who refused to make a coalition with Germany (sic). Their young leader wants to form his party along the lines of Kurz in Austria as well - centre-right populist, you know, flirting with anti-immigration sentiment but not going too far. And I think we'll see more centre-right movements in Europe going towards that, you know, saying, yes, we are European but we're anti-immigration, we're anti-political Islam, you know, those kind of phrases coming. And I think, you know, this goes against the predictions after Brexit: this idea that the EU would be strengthened. I don't think so. Actually I think you'll see that the strengthening of the Hungarys and the Swedens, the Eurosceptic Danes. These are not countries that want to leave the European Union but they are very distrustful of the European Commission. They want less power from Brussels, so more sovereignty for the member states.
Matthew Price: What has happened in the last 12 months to Britain's standing diplomatically in the regions in which you work?
Katya Adler: I think it's been astonishing. When the UK voted to leave the European Union the EU countries went through a whole range of emotions in rapid succession. And it could be tempting to see Brexit as dry politics, but it's not just in the UK this has been linked with emotion. So in Brussels, in Berlin and in Paris there was horror, there was upset, there was a feeling of betrayal - almost like a lover betraying you. It was amazing. This has now gone actually to quite cold pragmatism I have to say. But what's changed very much is the UK standing, because we were seen as 'too cool for school' . We were in the EU but we really didn't want to be in the EU. I know that in a lot of the press in the UK there's this thing, 'They never liked us, they never wanted us and now they want to punish us. But living in the EU, which I've done for so much of my adult life, in different countries, we were seen as so respected for our diplomacy, our international diplomacy, envied for our sense of competition, our kind of roll-up-the-sleeves, can-do attitude (whereas the other Europeans might sit around and have endless cups of coffee), and our political system revered by the more modern democracies in the European Union. We have fallen off the pedestal. That is not to say that we are seen as something to be belittled - not at all! - but we're seen as 'another European country' but not 'Great Britain' as was so admired before. And this has been through the Brexit process, and the perception in the European Union of the fact that the UK voted to leave, trigger the formal process to leave, Article 50, and then had a massive discussion with itself on a political and social level about why, how, when, what. And it has. It's reduced the standing I think.