Frequently Asked Questions

The annual Bilderberg Meeting is designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. Bilderberg was established in 1954 as a forum for informal discussions, bringing together individuals who share an active interest in affairs relevant to the relationship between Europe and Northern America. The Meeting has one main goal: to foster discussion and dialogue. There is no desired outcome, there is no closing statement, there are no resolutions proposed or votes taken, and the organisation does not support any political party or viewpoint.

The Foundation Bilderberg Meetings is led by a steering committee. Its current chairman is Henri de Castries.

The participants list changes from year to year and is published on this website a few days before each annual Meeting. Every Bilderberg Meeting represents a diverse mix of backgrounds, views, generations and genders. Participants take part in the Meeting as individuals in their own right.

Every Bilderberg Meeting is by invitation only. There is no application process. The key question is whether participants can bring an interesting perspective to the discussions. Participants are invited because they can offer a different point of view.

Steering Committee members propose invitees to the Chairman, who consults with other members of the Steering Committee. There is always a comprehensive discussion to ensure diversity in background, views, generations and gender.

The Meeting is closed to reporting journalists in order to encourage the highest level of openness and dialogue. As a result, there is no accreditation of journalists. Each year journalists have attended à titre personnel.

Bilderberg Meetings has never sought any public attention. An annual press conference on the eve of the Meeting was held for several decades up until the nineties, but it was stopped due to a lack of interest. However, the list of participants, main topics and the location are always fully published a few days before each Meeting.

Participants are of course free to discuss ideas expressed at the Meeting in general terms and many do so every year. However, as in many meetings across the world, participants agree not to quote each other. This is to ensure that all participants feel they can speak freely in an environment of trust.

Annual contributions by steering committee members cover the yearly costs of the small secretariat. The budget of the secretariat is limited to staff and administrative costs. 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.

The Bilderberg Meetings have often been the target of anti-globalisation protests and various conspiracy theorists have expressed wild allegations about the purpose of the gatherings. While these claims lack any and all merit, we regret to see that many continue to flourish online and in social media groups.

Some of the participants have constant security requirements, wherever they are. These requirements set the general standard of security surrounding the Meeting. Bilderberg Meetings respects these requirements and does not make any other security briefings or requests. Registered incidents with extremists from both right and left help further explain why the local police authorities insist on a high level of security - also to protect the people who happen to be in the Meeting’s vicinity.