Participants include secretary general of NATO, Ukraine’s head of diplomacy
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, and Ukraine’s head of diplomacy Dmytro Kuleba are just two of the high-level players taking part in the annual meeting promoted by the exclusive Bilderberg group, which begins today in Lisbon.
The meeting – as all Bilderberg meetings before it – takes place “behind closed doors and without press coverage, in a place not identified by the organisers”, writes Lusa.
Other participants this year are European heavyweights Roberta Metsola (parliamentary president) and Josep Borrell (head of diplomacy).
According to TV channel SIC Notícias, the meeting will take place in a hotel in the Alto de Santo Amaro area.
In a statement available on the Bilderberg’s internet page, organisers point out that the 69th edition of this annual meeting has around 130 participants from 23 countries, including Portugal.
“As always, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia, labour and the media has been invited,” says the text, also mentioning the 13 topics that will mark the discussions this year.
Among the topics for debate are transnational threats, Ukraine, Russia, China, Europe, India and the leadership of the United States.
Artificial Intelligence, the energy transition, industrial policy and trade, fiscal challenges and the banking system are other topics on the meeting’s agenda.
The list of participants disclosed by the Bilderberg club includes some Portuguese names, including former prime minister and former president of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso, and businessman and politician Francisco Pinto Balsemão – both of them representatives who belong or have belonged to the steering committee of the Bilderberg Club.
But there are more national participants, says Lusa, citing lawyer José Luís Arnaut and several executive directors of companies (Feedzai, GALP, EDP).
Also on the list of those taking part are the prime minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, Spanish foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, and the prime minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen.
The Bilderberg group or club was founded in 1954 to “promote dialogue between Europe and North America” and is named after the hotel (in the Netherlands) where the first meeting was held.
All Bilderberg meetings follow the so-called ‘Chatham House Rule’, a rule according to which anyone attending the meetings can speak about the ideas shared at the meetings, as long as they do not identify the person who expressed them.
Over the years, several Portuguese have taken part in these meetings: Francisco Pinto Balsemão (who left the group’s board of directors in 2015 passing his portfolio to Durão Barroso), António Costa, Jorge Sampaio, Vítor Constâncio, António Guterres, Pedro Santana Lopes, José Sócrates, António José Seguro, Paulo Portas, Fernando Medina and Maria Luís Albuquerque.
In June 1999, Sintra hosted a meeting of the Bilderberg Group.
The previous meeting took place in Washington last June.
Source material: LUSA