Queen Beatrix, prime minister Mark Rutte and D66 leader Alexander Pechtold are among the guests attending this year’s Bilderberg conference in Chantilly, the US this weekend, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.
Bilderberg conferences are notorious for their supposedly secretive nature. While there are no votes and the atmosphere is informal, participants are not supposed to talk about discussions or other participants, the Volkskrant states.
The list of politicians, business leaders and other notables attending this year includes Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, Belgium’s crown prince Philippe, Henry Kissinger and former chess champion Gary Kasparov, the paper says.
Marianne Thieme, leader of the pro-animal PvdD, has asked the prime minister to explain what he is doing at the conference.
Other MPs have posed similar questions. ‘After all, the trip is paid for by the taxpayer,’ Socialist MP Harry van Bommel told the paper.
Bilderberg takes its name from the hotel in Holland, where the first meeting took place in May 1954. Prince Bernhard was involved in setting up the meeting, which grew out of the concerns that Western Europe and North America were not working together as closely as they should.