Every year, the members of the Bilderberg group’s Steering Committee invite around 100 to 120 influential figures to attend the three-day Bilderberg summit. According to the group itself, the conference consists of:

“nearly three days of informal and off-the-record discussion about topics of current concern especially in the fields of foreign affairs and the international economy”.

At the conference, senior officials from governments and opposition parties mix, in private, with banks bosses, industrialists, heads of state, billionaire financiers, academics, and representatives of the major international economic and political institutions (NATO, the EU, the IMF, the World Bank, the European Central Bank, the WTO etc.)

The 2017 conference in Chantilly, USA, was attended by the Secretary General of NATO, the Dutch Minister of Defence, the Canadian Minister of Finance, the American Secretary of State for Commerce, two US Senators, and a variety of other ministers, party leaders and politicians.

Bilderberg insists that all participants attend in a private capacity: “participants take part in the meeting as individuals in their own right” — however, ministers and prime ministers do participate in their official roles, and generally attend the conference with governmental aides.

In 2011, it was revealed that regular participant George Osborne attended the St Mortitz Bilderberg conference in his official capacity as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Osborne attended the 2013 Watford conference, along with Prime Minister David Cameron, and the then Bilderberg steering committee member Ken Clarke MP.

These days, George Osborne attends in his capacity as Editor of the London Evening Standard. Alongside him at the 2017 conference were a considerable number of editors, senior news journalists and media owners. They included the editors-in-chief of the Economist, Bloomberg and the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

At every conference there is a high-powered mix of politicians, bankers, business people, and political strategists: the CEOs and Chairmen of banks and corporations such as HSBC, Shell, Google, BP, Santander, Nestlé, Airbus and Goldman Sachs. Plus the usual smattering of senior US State Dept and Treasury officials, National Security Advisers, Finance Ministers, European royals, Pentagon top brass and intelligence chiefs.


a guide to the annual transatlantic talks