The 69th Bilderberg Meeting, a secretive conclave of global power brokers, has kicked off in Lisbon, Portugal, with issues on the agenda including transnational threats, artificial intelligence, and America’s leadership in world affairs.
This year’s meeting, the latest in a series that began in 1954, continues to blur the lines between open diplomacy and clandestine elitism as political leaders brush shoulders with industry bigwigs, media barons, and finance tycoons.
“It’s a really high-octane list, leaning heavily into the Russia/Ukraine conflict and the future of NATO,” journalist Charlie Skelton, who’s in Lisbon to cover this year’s event, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.
As usual, the details of their discussions remain obscured by the “Chatham House Rule,” a protocol that gives participants the discretion to use the information gleaned from the talks but forbids the identification of speakers or participants, ensuring anonymity.
“Thanks to the private nature of the Meeting, the participants take part as individuals rather than in any official capacity, and hence are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions,” a Bilderberg Meetings press release reads.
Among the major topics slated for discussion are artificial intelligence, the banking system, energy transition, and industrial policy and trade.
Other high-priority issues include the geopolitical landscapes of Europe, China, India, Russia, and Ukraine, along with NATO and America’s global leadership.
The topic of U.S. leadership, which last appeared on the Bilderberg agenda in 2018, comes as China and Russia have ramped up their efforts to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar as the world’s pre-eminent reserve currency.
The agenda outlined by the group is as follows:
- Banking System
- Energy Transition
- Fiscal Challenges
- Industrial Policy and Trade
- Transnational Threats
- US Leadership
The array of globally influential figures includes NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, with the dynamics of global security cooperation in sharp focus as the war in Ukraine continues with no end in sight.
Also on the security front, attending the meeting are Avril Haines, U.S. director of National Intelligence, and Thomas Wright, senior director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council.
Avril Haines, head of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), testifies during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing about worldwide threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 14, 2021. (Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
There’s no shortage of political leaders, including Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, and Finland’s outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who lost an election but continues to serve as part of a caretaker government until a new cabinet is formed.
Also attending is Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the creator of the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT that has grabbed headlines for its potential to replace humans in jobs. Other prominent tech figures include Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir Technologies, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, is also on the list of participants, as is Thiel Capital founder Peter Thiel, and John Waldron, president of Goldman Sachs.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla gestures during a session at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on May 25, 2022. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)
Also in attendance are Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, Alexander Schallenberg, Austria’s Minister for European and International Affairs, and Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Kuleba, notably, has been at the forefront of efforts to bolster Western backing for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. He recently took part in a meeting of 27 European Union foreign ministers, where he called for the provision of long-range artillery ammunition and the opening of talks for Ukraine’s potential accession to the E.U.
While the Bilderberg Meeting is touted as a private, informal gathering devoid of any official capacity, the implications of such a potent concentration of power have been the subject of scrutiny.
“It seems like an awful lot of senior European politicians to be discussing vital topics such as Ukraine, Russia, and NATO, with such senior NATO officials, and with no press oversight and no press conference,” Skelton told The Epoch Times.
“The conference seems to be a serious blind spot in the mainstream media. And this blind spot doesn’t seem like it’s about to clear up any time soon,” he added, referring to reluctance on the part of legacy media outlets to cover the Bilderberg Meetings, which have been the subject of various rumors, including that attendees gather to strategize about how to create a new world order.
The secrecy surrounding the meetings has given rise to a number of unproven theories, including that Bilderberg attendees are behind the creation of the European Union or the invasion of Iraq.
Below is a comprehensive list of participants of the 69th Bilderberg Meetings.
Full List of Participants
- Abrams, Stacey (USA), CEO, Sage Works Production
- Achleitner, Paul M. (DEU), Chair, Global Advisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
- Agrawal, Ajay (CAN), Professor of Economics, University of Toronto
- Albares, José Manuel (ESP), Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Altman, Sam (USA), CEO, OpenAI
- Alverà, Marco (ITA), Co-Founder, zhero.net; CEO TES
- Andersson, Magdalena (SWE), Leader, Social Democratic Party
- Applebaum, Anne (USA), Staff Writer, The Atlantic
- Arnaut, José Luís (PRT), Managing Partner, CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut
- Attal, Gabriel (FRA), Minister for Public Accounts
- Balsemão, Francisco Pinto (PRT), Chair, Impresa Group
- Barbizet, Patricia (FRA), Chair and CEO, Temaris & Associés SAS
- Barroso, José Manuel (PRT), Chair, International Advisors, Goldman Sachs
- Baudson, Valérie (FRA), CEO, Amundi SA
- Beaune, Clément (FRA), Minister for Transport
- Benson, Sally (USA), Professor of Energy Science and Engineering, Stanford University
- Beurden, Ben van (NLD), Special Advisor to the Board, Shell plc
- Borg, Anna (SWE), President and CEO, Vattenfall AB
- Borrell, Josep (INT), Vice President, European Commission
- Botín, Ana P. (ESP), Group Executive Chair, Banco Santander SA
- Bourla, Albert (USA), Chair and CEO, Pfizer Inc.
- Braathen, Kjerstin (NOR), CEO, DNB ASA
- Brende, Børge (NOR), President, World Economic Forum
- Brink, Dolf van den (NLD), CEO, Heineken NV
- Brudermüller, Martin (DEU), CEO, BASF SE
- Buberl, Thomas (FRA), CEO, AXA SA
- Byrne, Thomas (IRL), Minister for Sport and Physical Education
- Carney, Mark (CAN), Vice Chair, Brookfield Asset Management
- Cassis, Ignazio (CHE), Federal Councillor, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
- Castries, Henri de (FRA), President, Institut Montaigne
- Cavoli, Christopher (INT), Supreme Allied Commander Europe
- Ceylan, Mehmet Fatih (TUR), President, Ankara Policy Center
- Chhabra, Tarun (USA), Senior Director for Technology and National Security, National Security Council
- Creuheras, José (ESP), Chair, Grupo Planeta and Atresmedia
- Debackere, Koenraad (BEL), Chair, KBC Group NV
- Deese, Brian (USA), Former Director, National Economic Council
- Donohoe, Paschal (INT), President, Eurogroup
- Döpfner, Mathias (DEU), Chair and CEO, Axel Springer SE
- Easterly, Jen (USA), Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
- Economy, Elizabeth (USA), Senior Advisor for China, Department of Commerce
- Ehrnrooth, Henrik (FIN), Chair, Otava Group
- Émié, Bernard (FRA), Director General for External Security, Ministry of the Armed Forces
- Empoli, Giuliano da (ITA), Political Scientist and Writer, Sciences Po
- Entrecanales, José M. (ESP), Chair and CEO, Acciona SA
- Eriksen, Øyvind (NOR), President and CEO, Aker ASA
- Ferguson, Niall (USA), Milbank Family Senior Fellow, Stanford University
- Fleming, Jeremy (GBR), Former Director, GCHQ
- Frederiksen, Mette (DNK), Prime Minister
- Freeland, Chrystia (CAN), Deputy Prime Minister
- Garijo, Bélen (DEU), Chair and CEO, Merck KGaA
- Gentiloni, Paolo (INT), Commissioner for Economy, European Commission
- Gonzáles Pons, Esteban (ESP), Vice Chair, European People’s Party
- Gosset-Grainville, Antoine (FRA), Chair, AXA
- Goulimis, Nicky (GRC), Board Member and Co-Founder, Nova Credit Inc.
- Griffin, Kenneth (USA), Founder and CEO, Citadel LLC
- Gruber, Lilli (ITA), Editor-in-Chief and Anchor, La7 TV
- Gürkaynak, Refet (TUR), Professor of Economics, Bilkent University
- Haines, Avril D. (USA), Director of National Intelligence
- Halberstadt, Victor (NLD), Professor of Economics, Leiden University
- Hassabis, Demis (GBR), CEO, DeepMind
- Hedegaard, Connie (DNK), Chair, KR Foundation
- Hofreiter, Anton (DEU), MP; Chair Committee on European Affairs
- Holzen, Madeleine von (CHE), Editor-in-Chief, Le Temps
- Jensen, Kristian (DNK), CEO, Green Power Denmark
- Joshi, Shashank (GBR), Defence Editor, The Economist
- Kaag, Sigrid (NLD), Minister of Finance; Deputy Prime Minister
- Karp, Alex (USA), CEO, Palantir Technologies Inc.
- Kasparov, Garry (USA), Chair, Renew Democracy Initiative
- Kieli, Kasia (POL), President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Discovery Poland
- Kissinger, Henry A. (USA), Chairman, Kissinger Associates Inc.
- Koç, Ömer (TUR), Chair, Koç Holding AS
- Kolesnikov, Andrei (INT), Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- Kostrzewa, Wojciech (POL), President, Polish Business Roundtable
- Kotkin, Stephen (USA), Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
- Kravis, Henry R. (USA), Co-Chairman, KKR & Co. Inc.
- Kravis, Marie-Josée (USA), Chair, The Museum of Modern Art
- Kudelski, André (CHE), Chair and CEO, Kudelski Group SA
- Kuleba, Dmytro (UKR), Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Lammy, David (GBR), Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, House of Commons
- Leysen, Thomas (BEL), Chair, Umicore and Mediahuis; Chair DSM-Firmenich AG
- Liikanen, Erkki (FIN), Chair, IFRS Foundation Trustees
- Looney, Bernard (GBR), CEO, BP plc
- Marin, Sanna (FIN), Prime Minister
- Metsola, Roberta (INT), President, European Parliament
- Micklethwait, John (USA), Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg LP
- Minton Beddoes, Zanny (GBR), Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
- Moreira, Duarte (PRT), Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Zeno Partners
- Moyo, Dambisa (GBR), Global Economist; Member, House of Lords
- Mundie, Craig J. (USA), President, Mundie & Associates LLC
- Nadella, Satya (USA), CEO, Microsoft Corporation
- O’Leary, Michael (IRL), Group CEO, Ryanair Group
- Orida, Deborah (CAN), President and CEO, PSP Investments
- Özel, Soli (TUR), Professor, Kadir Has University
- Papalexopoulos, Dimitri (GRC), Chair, TITAN Cement Group; Treasurer Bilderberg Meetings
- Philippe, Édouard (FRA), Mayor, Le Havre
- Pottinger, Matthew (USA), Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution
- Pouyanné, Patrick (FRA), Chair and CEO, TotalEnergies SE
- Rachman, Gideon (GBR), Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator, The Financial Times
- Ramírez, Pedro J. (ESP), Director, El Español
- Rappard, Rolly van (NLD), Co-Founder and Co-Chair, CVC Capital Partners
- Reynders, Didier (INT), European Commissioner for Justice
- Röttgen, Norbert (DEU), MP, German Bundestag
- Rutte, Mark (NLD), Prime Minister
- Salomon, Martina (AUT), Editor-in-Chief, Kurier
- Sawers, John (GBR), Executive Chair, Newbridge Advisory Ltd.
- Schadlow, Nadia (USA), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
- Schallenberg, Alexander (AUT), Minister for European and International Affairs
- Schmidt, Eric E. (USA), Former CEO and Chair, Google LLC
- Schmidt, Wolfgang (DEU), Head of the Chancellery, Federal Minister for Special Tasks
- Sebastião, Nuno (PRT), Chair and CEO, Feedzai
- Sikorski, Radoslaw (POL), MEP, European Parliament
- Silva, Filipe (PRT), CEO, Galp
- Stilwell de Andrade, Miguel (PRT), CEO, EDP
- Stoltenberg, Jens (INT), Secretary General, NATO
- Subramanian, Arvind (INT), Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs, Brown University
- Tellis, Ashley J. (USA), Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs, Carnegie Endowment
- Thiel, Peter (USA), President, Thiel Capital LLC
- Tsu, Jing (USA), Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Yale University
- Tugendhat, Tom (GBR), Minister of State for Security
- Vadera, Shriti (GBR), Chair, Prudential plc
- Vassilakis, Eftichios (GRC), Chair, Aegean Group
- Waldron, John (USA), President and COO, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
- Wallenberg, Marcus (SWE), Chair, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB
- Wennink, Peter (NLD), President and CEO, ASML Holding NV
- Wright, Thomas (USA), Senior Director for Strategic Planning, National Security Council
- Yang, Yuan (GBR), Europe-China Correspondent, Financial Times
- Yergin, Daniel (USA), Vice Chair, S&P Global
- Yinanç, Barçin (TUR), Journalist, T24 News Website