Ever since the first secretive conference in 1954, when the group still denied its own existence, the clandestine nature of the Bilderberg Meetings has given rise to a lot of concern and curiosity.
Journalists covering the event have already been detained by Swiss Police while trying to interview attendees as they arrived in Switzerland. The hotel hosting the event has brought in hundreds of small trees to ring the building and obscure outsiders from seeing in. The secret meeting runs from 30 May to 2 June.
The meeting’s agenda is always kept strictly secret, but the group has published a list of some key topics they say they will discuss.
- A Stable Strategic Order
- What Next for Europe?
- Climate Change and Sustainability
- The Future of Capitalism
- The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
- The Weaponisation of Social Media
- The Importance of Space
- Cyber Threats
Attendees, according to multiple media reports, will include Stacey Abrams, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Other political and business figures thought to be attending this year include French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, among others.
The meetings follow a policy of strict confidentiality. The event began in 1954, when a small group of powerful European Royalty met with a group of influential North Americans to discuss the future of the world. The event, convened under the leadership of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.
A number of past attendees have gone on to lead nations shortly after the meetings. Angela Merkel attended in 2005, months before becoming the German chancellor, Bill Clinton attended shortly before becoming president of the US.
About 130 attendees come every year, with two-thirds generally from Europe and one-third from North America.