The Portuguese sun was doing its cheery best to make this year’s Bilderberg meeting seem warm and welcoming, but nothing could take the deathly chill out of the official agenda of the secretive shindig for some of the world’s most powerful people.
[Image source: Wikimedia]
It isn’t every day that an elite group of around 130 high level political leaders, corporate CEOs, and representatives from the worlds of finance, academia, and the media meet to discuss global affairs. But when such a top-level gathering does take place, you might assume it would receive extensive media attention. In the case of meetings of the ultra-secretive Bilderberg Group, however, this is not what generally happens. Instead, the vast majority of the mainstream media fail to make any mention of them. This year’s meeting, held between 18-21 May at the luxurious Hotel Pestana Palace in Lisbon, Portugal, was no exception.
Established in 1954, meetings of the Bilderberg Group are invitation-only and normally take place once a year. Around two-thirds of the participants come from Europe, with the rest coming from North America. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, now aged 99, was there again this year and has been attending the annual meetings since 1957.
Publicly, Bilderberg claims that its meetings are simply a forum for ‘informal discussions’. In reality, however, they wield enormous global influence.
The appointment of former Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy as the first President of the European Council in 2009 famously took place within days of him attending a special Bilderberg dinner meeting that was seemingly organized for the sole purpose of considering his candidacy.
Many other Bilderberg alumni, such as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Angela Merkel, have similarly gone on to assume senior political roles after attending these meetings. For this reason, Bilderberg’s participant lists are often seen as a good indication of where future power may lie. You can find the participant list and press release for this year’s meeting on the Bilderberg Group’s website.
To read about the late David Rockefeller and his longtime role as the guiding hand behind the Bilderberg Group, see this article on our website.