Some 140 participants representing 22 countries will be attending the 62nd annual Bilderberg meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. The newly released list is a who’s who of business, academia, and the political world.
As is usually the case with the renowned summit, this year’s Bilderberg, which will take place May 29 to June 1, has attracted a cadre of influential experts, including notable attendees such as NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former director of the US National Security Agency Keith Alexander, and former US national security advisor to the White House Thomas E. Donilon.
The Bilderberg meeting, often thought of as one of the most influential networks in the world, first began in 1954, has over the years attracted a considerable amount of media attention, both for its formidable attendee lists as well as the perceived aura as an opportunity for the world’s elite to mingle. In addition to the yearly attendees, the Bilderberg Steering Committee is likewise a list of powerful financiers, which includes Peter D. Sutherland, Chairman of Goldman Sachs International, as well as Peter Thiel, president of Thiel Capital.
Bilderberg operates under the “Chatham House Rule,” which stipulates that neither the identity nor affiliation of a speaker’s quotes may be revealed by other participants, including any media in attendance. Though it may be intended to promote the free exchange of ideas among the well-heeled, such rules have fed directly into what detractors say is an unnecessary cloud of secrecy, as well as a range of conspiracy theories that liken the summit to a shadowy gathering for architects of the “New World Order.”
Already fueling such wild speculation ahead of this year’s summit were the arrests of independent reporters Luke Rudkowski and Dan Dicks, who attempted to confront staff at the Copenhagen hotel where Bilderberg is set to take place. Video of the encounter quickly spread online.
According to an official press release, this year’s summit will be focusing on a variety of topics, including the future of democracy and the “middle class trap,” China’s political and economic outlook, and the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Interestingly, the agenda also includes the topic of privacy, as well as “the relationship in intelligence sharing,” which suggests the meeting may be used to address last year’s onslaught of NSA leaks by former intelligence contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden. Bilderberg has released an official list of participants.
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