IN PICTURES: Germany Inc
"NATO and EU integration was the model," says John Kornblum, a former US ambassador to Germany who is now a corporate lawyer in Berlin. "The model is now disappearing and that makes people nervous. We are at the end of a postwar European romance about Europe. Germany doesn't want to pay for the romance anymore."
Germany's new global strategy seeks markets and relations in every direction – from Brazil and China to Vietnam and India. France no longer exercises its capacity to "run Europe" but has become a kind of shadow partner of Berlin. Even the city of Berlin, with its bohemian nightclubs and vibrant arts community, has become a hip urban center – what some here consider the new Paris of Europe.
"The German-Polish and German-Russian policy planning staffs are in high gear," says a Scandinavian diplomat in Berlin. "It isn't just icing on the cake. It is a new cake. Germany is absolutely changing. It is breaking taboos. It is not going back to a cold-war identity."