PRESS RELATIONS

The Bilderberg Group is famously shy of press attention. An article in the Daily Express, February 12, 1957 (a few years after the first official conference) shows how a veil of “secrecy and security” was drawn over the event – even in the early days:

expresscutting

This attitude is beginning to change. At the 2013 conference in Watford, for the first time, there was a press area set up within the grounds of the Grove Hotel, where the event was taking place. And the Bilderberg Group itself appointed a press relations contact, another first.

It remains to be seen whether relations between the Bilderberg Group and the press will continue to improve, but there are promising signs. When it was announced that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, would be attending the 2013 conference, the announcement was made in the spirit of openness: “the prime minister has always been clear about the importance of transparency”. Two years earlier, Cameron himself said, in Prime Minister’s Questions (July 13, 2011):

“the relationship between politicians and the media must change and we must be more transparent, too, about meetings, particularly with executives, editors, proprietors and the rest of it.”

This is particularly true of the Bilderberg Group meetings, with its mix  of senior politicians and senior lobbyists: ministers and prime ministers, meeting with top business executives and media proprietors, behind closed doors, for three days.

For more information on the need for greater transparency and improved press oversight:

a guide to the international trade and policy summit