The annual Bilderberg conference is notable for the number of extremely senior elected officials that attend the private event.

In 2017, Holland sent its Defence Minister, Canada sent its Finance Minister, and the US sent two Senators, the Governor of Virginia, the Secretary of State for Commerce and the National Security Advisor. They were joined by the Secretary General of Nato and the head of the IMF.

In 2016 the conference was heaving with politicians: everyone from the German, Irish and Swedish Finance Ministers to the Prime Minister of Belgium; from the Dutch Prime Minister to the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer.

As Bilderberg itself says: “one third” of the participants at every conference are “from politics and government”.

Looking further back, to the Watford conference in 2013: Austria sent its State Secretary of Finance; Sweden sent its Foreign Minister and Finance Minister; and Holland and Great Britain sent their Prime Ministers.

That year, from the UK alone, there were:

  • David Cameron, Prime Minister
  • George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Kenneth Clarke, Cabinet Minister
  • Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Sir John Kerr, Independent Member, House of Lords (UK)

Along with, from the EU:

  • José M. Durão Barroso, President, European Commission
  • Viviane Reding, Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission

It’s not uncommon for the conference to be attended by senior officials from the European Commission and the EU, along with the chiefs of intelligence services and senior military officers.


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a guide to the international trade and policy summit