The Bilderberg Group (By: Marisa Beirne)

The Bilderberg Group is an elite group of influential people from North America and Western Europe. The group consists of 120-140 members who are all either political leaders or involved in the financial industry, labor industry, and highly respected communicators. The Bilderberg Group is also known to the public as “The Bilderberg Confrence” and “The Bilderberg Club”. The group participates in annual invitation only meetings that are completely closed to the public.

bilderberg-2011-all-aboard-the-bilderbus

The main initiative of The Bilderberg group is to create a better understanding of the American and Western European cultures. It is the hope of the group that if a better understanding is created between these two areas of the world this will lead to better economic and political relationships. It is also hoped that the better relationship will lead to better cooperation on defense issues between the United States and Western Europe.

The original conference was held May 29-31, 1954 at the Hotel De Bilderberg in the Netherlands. This is how the group received its name. The first conference was held out of growing concern for the relationship between Western Europe and North America.  It was decided then that there would be two attendees from each nation invited to attend the conference. One conservative representative and one liberal representative was asked to attend so everyone’s opinion would be heard. Participants are decided based on their knowledge and experience of the topics to be discussed at that conference. Recent USA participants from the 2012 conference included Thomas Donilon (National Security Advisor, The White House) and Donald Graham (CEO and Chair of The Washington Post Company).   

The meetings are organized by a steering committee each year which is made up of representatives from each nation.  Members are elected for four year terms and have the opportunity to be re-elected after that. There are no distinct roles on this committee it is just known as “the steering committee”. They plan the events of the conference each year and make sure everything stays as secret as possible. The conference usually consists of off the record discussions about current concerns especially in the field of foreign affair.  There are no resolutions proposed, no votes taken and no policy issue statements are given. This conference is specifically for open discussion of different viewpoints.

The Bilderberg Group has a positive mission and can be seen as beneficial. This is a way for leaders from different nations to come together to discuss their opinions on touchy subjects in an open flexible forum. The conference invites people with all different viewpoints from different nations to be able to speak and try to help others understand their countries views.

With any society or group there is bound to be criticisms. A few negative opinions on The Bilderberg group consist of the fact that there are no actual solutions made at these conferences. The attendees meet for three days and there is no change actually made. People often do not understand the point of this conference if nothing definite is coming out of it. Another criticism is that they are only inviting rich upper-class people to attend. Critics have been quoted saying that the lower-class ideas and opinions are not being represented at this conference.

Lastly, there is a huge conspiracy associated with this group. The Bilderberg Group is extremely private. There is no where that a synopsis of the meetings can be found and no one not invited can attend any part of the conference. With the security being so tight at this conference, many believe that the leaders are actually trying to impose a capitalistic domination between the countries attending. Many critics of this group believe the leaders are secretaly planning a “new world order”. The steering committee denies all claims of this and continued to say the strict secrecy of this group is to make sure all the attendees can speak openly and freely without having to worry about their opinions becoming public knowledge.

After researching The Bilderberg Group I believe that this is a beneficial conference. I do not agree with the conspiracy theories that have been stated about this organization. The group meets in order to let people state their opinions in a safe way. To me, open discussion is a great way to learn about different people and see issues from another person’s perspective. Even though there are no solutions made at the conferences if people from different countries understand others decisions about topics this can lead to better relationships between the different nations. All in all, The Bilderberg Group is a group who strives to promote better understanding and relationships between North America and Western Europe.

For more information please visit these websites as they are full of information about The Bilderburg Group:

http://www.nndb.com/org/514/000042388/

http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group

 

 

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