Founded in 1954, the Bilderberg meeting is an annual event designed “to foster dialogue between Europe and North America,” organizers say. The meeting is renowned for its secretive content.
About two thirds of participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; approximately a quarter from politics and government and the rest from other fields, organizers said in a statement Wednesday. Discretion, as always, is de rigeur.
“The conference is a forum for informal discussions about major issues facing the world. The meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, which states that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor any other participant may be revealed.”
The organizers said that thanks to the private nature of the meeting, “the participants are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions.”
“As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no desired outcome, no minutes are taken and no report is written. Furthermore, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.”
With the great and the good attending the meeting, which has become synonymous with the elite, a frequently asked question is how the Bilderberg meeting is financed. Organizers said the financing was a mixed bag:
“Annual contributions by steering committee members cover the annual costs of the secretariat. The budget of the secretariat is limited to the costs of the meeting. The hospitality costs of the annual meeting are the responsibility of the steering committee member(s) of the host country. Participation is by invitation only, and there is no attendance fee. Participants take care of their own travel and accommodation costs.”