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Bilderbergers lead EU, NATO, IMF and UN

Dr. Lukas Kantor

One overlooked cause of inequality lies in the exclusiveness of elite networks and favouritism among their members.

Since 2019, the EU, NATO, IMF, and UN have been chaired by people who attended confidential Bilderberg conference(s) prior to their appointment. In the EU, Bilderbergers also occupy other top positions – the heads of the European Council, European Central Bank and Eurogroup. French president Macron is Bilderberger, and the day after his inauguration, Bilderberger Philippe became Prime Minister. Macron's candidate, Bilderberger Georgieva, leads the IMF thanks to a change in selection rules. These and other indicia of elite cronyism are summarised and interpreted in a new peer-reviewed study in the journal International Politics.

Since 1954, the Bilderberg Group has functioned as one of the platforms for transatlantic elite networking and coordinating. The club has been organising annual informal and highly exclusive conferences for approximately 130 politicians, businesspeople, and intellectuals, mostly from Europe and North America and marginally from Turkey. The study argues that to a certain extent, affiliation with the Bilderberg Group might serve as a career elevator. Participants of the meetings (can) strengthen valuable contacts and gain insider information.  At times, they also receive backing in professional spheres from their club's fellows.

Two Bilderbergers pushed Georgieva

For instance, member of Bilderberg Group's steering committee José Manuel Barroso used the Bilderberg conference in 2016 to lobby for Bilderberger Kristalina Georgieva's nomination to the post of UN Secretary General (, 10.6.2016). 

Yet, eventually, the race for this position was won by another Bilderberger Antonio Guterres. During his mandate, at least two Bilderbergers (Miguel Ángel Moratinos and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert) were selected as UN representatives (Kantor, 2023: 1226). 

Later in 2019, Georgieva was installed into another prestigious function, namely that of the director of IMF. She did not meet the initial criteria for this job (age limit and support from sufficient states), but the rules were sidestepped or changed in her favour. The decisive factor in her appointment was Georgieva's strong backing from Bilderberger Emmanuel Macron. 

Von der Leyen's Bilderberg connections won her the nod

The EU especially has been overcrowded by Bilderbergers who occupy the top posts of 1) president of the European Commission (Ursula von der Leyen); 2) member of the European Commission (Jutta Urpilainen, Margrethe Vestager); 3) president of the European Central Bank (Christine Lagarde); 4) president of Eurogroup (Paschal Donohoe); 5) president of the European Council (Charles Michel).

"Von der Leyen and Michel attended the same Bilderberg conference in 2015 and subsequently in the same year 2019 they both gained the highest positions in the EU," the study stresses (Kantor, 2023: 1225).

Originally, Manfred Weber was expected to become head of the European Commission. But he was not so well-connected. Even mainstream media acknowledged the contribution of Bilderberg to von der Leyen's elevation. The study quotes Politico (11.7.2019), which stated openly: 

"Bilderberg. Davos. Munich. (…) Ursula von der Leyen (…) has quietly built an extensive international network in politics and business — connections that won her the nod for the EU’s top job. (…) (…) It's thanks to her international network that her political career is still alive." 

Herman Van Rompuy was approved in 2009 as the first president of the European Council soon after he had private dinner with prominent Bilderbergers Etienne Davignon (former vice-president of the European Commission) and Henry Kissinger. The EU summit that chose Van Rompuy was chaired by Bilderberger Fredrik Reinfeldt, who championed the candidacy of Van Rompuy.

In the past, Bilderbergers also occupied the posts of 6) president of the European parliament (Pat Cox), 7) EU Brexit negotiator (Michel Barnier), 8) EU special representative for the Southern Mediterranean (Bernardino León Gross), 9) EU antiterrorism coordinator (Gijs de Vries) and 10) EU ombudsman (Nikiforos Diamandouros). 

"This raises suspicion that in the EU's nomination processes, Bilderbergers are the preferred candidates," the study infers (Kantor, 2023: 1225). 

All general secretaries of NATO are Bilderbergers

NATO is also striking. "All post-Cold War general secretaries of NATO participated at some Bilderberg conference prior to their appointment (…) Both Wörner and Solana had their Bilderberg première in 1985," the study emphasises (Kantor, 2023: 1225).

In addition, at least three Bilderbergers (Karl Lamers, Pierre Lellouche, Bert Koenders) became presidents of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. 

Other attendees of Bilderberg conclave(s) were subsequently installed into leading positions at World Bank (James Wolfensohn, Paul Wolfowitz, Ad Melkert, Robert Zoellick, Frank Heemskerk) and WTO (Renato Ruggiero, Pascal Lamy). 

The then member of Bilderberg Group's steering committee Vernon Jordan secured an invitation to Bilderberg conference in 1991 for Bill Clinton and introduced him as "the next President of the United States" (Richardson et al., 2011: 173). Also due to Jordan's help, Clinton really became US president in 1993. And in 1995, as Jordan wanted, Clinton installed Wolfensohn into the World Bank. 

"In other words: prominent Bilderberger Jordan contributed to the career advancement of Bilderberger Wolfensohn, via another Bilderberger Clinton," the study concludes (Kantor, 2023: 1222).

Mayor at Bilderberg conference, Prime Minister next year

Emmanuel Macron attended the Bilderberg conference in May-June 2014. Already in August 2014, under Bilderberger Manuel Valls as Prime Minister, Macron was chosen to lead the key ministry of economy. "Moreover, on 14 May 2017, Macron reached the position of French president. And the next day, another Bilderberger – Édouard Philippe – became the new Prime Minister. Philippe attended the Bilderberg conference in 2016, at that time as mere mayor," the study highlights (Kantor, 2023: 1225). 

Another suspicious case is Portugal. "Bilderberg conference in 2004 was attended by even two future Portugal PMs—Lopes and Socrates. At that time, Socrates was merely an MP, but already next year he became PM," the study adds (Kantor, 2023: 1224). 

Web of national and transnational elite clubs  

All these findings are in line with previous empirical research, especially by Diana Kendall (2008). She maintains that affiliation with US elite clubs (like the Bohemian Club) enhances political, social, and cultural capital. As a result, members have an advantage vis-à-vis outsiders, which contributes to the inequality (of opportunity) in society. 

Kendall notes: "privileged people gain greater access to powerful positions in the local, state, and federal branches of the government" and that "they do this partly through extensive social networks among elite club members" (2008: 112). Specifically, fellows from clubs tend to "nominate each other" (2008: 49) into high-profile posts, not only in politics, but also business, academia etc, or provide other support in climbing the career ladder. 

The same benefits can be extracted from connections with transnational elite clubs. Just recall the case of Jimmy Carter, who belonged to the Trilateral Commission, which had partly overlapping membership with the Bilderberg Group. After Carter became US president in 1977, numerous Trilateralists (Zbigniew Brzezinski, Walter Mondale, Cyrus Vance, Harold Brown, Michael Blumenthal, Henry Owen, Robert Bowie, Paul Volcker etc.) received various influential positions. 

Moreover, at least three World Bank presidents (Robert McNamara, Alden Clausen, Barber Conable) were also Trilateralists. Therefore, it is understandable that the club was seen by some critics as "springboard for elevation to political power", as Stephen Gill (2009: 171) wrote in his pioneering monograph. 

Remaining interpretational puzzles

The study of the Bilderberg Group yields similar evidence or at least indicia of favouritism. Under-used data from lists of participants of 30 Bilderberg conferences from 1990 to 2019 were examined. It resulted in a new dataset regarding133 (mainly European and both right and left-wing) politicians who were elevated after their Bilderberg attendance. From this group, 42 people became prime ministers, presidents, or top representatives of international organizations. 

Examples include Canadian PMs Paul Martin and Stephen Harper, British PMs Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, German PMs Angela Merkel and Olaf Scholz, Swedish PMs Stefan Löfven and Magdalena Andersson, Italian PM Enrico Letta, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez, Austrian PM Alfred Gusenbauer, and Dutch PM Wim Kok. 

However, the investigation also admits that in most cases, it demonstrates only some correlation between attendance at Bilderberg conclave(s) and future elevation. Causation is hard – or perhaps impossible – to prove. Plus, the analysis does not hide that most of the higher hundreds of political participants of Bilderberg gatherings later made no significant career jump. 

So yes, the whole story is not so unambiguous, unidirectional, and worrying. But it is also not so innocent, as elites want the masses to believe. 




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