The Bilderberg Group, an annual gathering of royalty, statesmen and business leaders, will this week take place at the Grove Hotel, a golf resort in Watford, Hertfordshire.
Guests will include George Osborne, the Chancellor; Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor; and Ken Clarke, the Cabinet Minister who also sits on the group’s steering committee, according to a list of participants published on www.bilderbergmeetings.org.
Other attendees include Lord Mandelson, the former Labour First Secretary; Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State; Timothy Geithner, the former Secretary of the US Treasury, and Gen David Petraeus, the former Allied commander in Afghanistan and head of the CIA.
Delegates from business include Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google; Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman Sachs; Robert Dudley, the chief executive of BP; Douglas Flint, the chairman of HSBC and Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com.
The group will discuss how the US and Europe can promote growth, the way ‘big data’ is changing ‘almost everything’, the challenges facing the continent of Africa and the threat of cyber warfare, according to an agenda published today.
The politics of the European Union, debt, advancements in medical research, the Middle East and ‘current affairs’ will also be debated.
The concentration of politicians and business leaders has meant the organisation, founded at the Bilderberg Hotel near Arnhem in 1954, has faced accusations of secrecy. It has been at the centre of a number of conspiracy theories.
More conventionally, the group is likened to the World Economic Forum in Davos and provides an opportunity for leaders to discuss the challenges facing Europe and the United States free from the constraints of public office.
Meetings take place behind closed doors, with a ban on journalists. There is no agenda and no votes are taken or public statements issued.
Delegates are able to speak on an informal, off-the-record basis and are not bound by their public, “pre-agreed” positions. This, the organisers say, allows delegates to “take time to listen, reflect and gather insights.”
Bilderberg delegates in full
- Chairman: Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
- Paul M. Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
- Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
- Marcus Agius, Former Chairman, Barclays plc
- Helen Alexander, Chairman, UBM plc
- Roger C. Altman, Executive Chairman, Evercore Partners
- Matti Apunen, Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
- Susan Athey, Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, Columnist, Milliyet Newspaper
- Ali Babacan, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs
- Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
- Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA
- Nicolas Barré, Managing Editor, Les Echos
- José Manuel Barroso, President, European Commission
- Nicolas Baverez, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- Olivier de Bavinchove, Commander, Eurocorps
- John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford
- Franco Bernabè, Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia S.p.A.
- Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com
- Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
- Anders Borg, Swedish Minister for Finance
- Jean François van Boxmeer, CEO, Heineken
- Svein Richard Brandtzæg, President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
- Oscar Bronner, Publisher, Der Standard Medienwelt
- Peter Carrington, Former Honorary Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
- Juan Luis Cebrián, Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA
- Edmund Clark, President and CEO, TD Bank Group
- Kenneth Clarke, Cabinet Minister
- Bjarne Corydon, Danish Minister of Finance
- Sherard Cowper-Coles, Business Development Director, International, BAE Systems plc
- Enrico Cucchiani, CEO, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA
- Etienne Davignon, Belgian Minister of State; Former Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
- Ian Davis, Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company
- Robbert H. Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study
- Haluk Dinçer, President, Retail and Insurance Group, Sabanc? Holding A.S.
- Robert Dudley, Group Chief Executive, BP plc
- Nicholas N. Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute
- Espen Barth Eide, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Investor AB
- Thomas Enders, CEO, EADS