The 69th Bilderberg Meeting, a secretive conclave of global power brokers, has kicked off in Lisbon, Portugal, with issues on the agenda including transnational threats, artificial intelligence, and America’s leadership in world affairs.
This year’s meeting, the latest in a series that began in 1954, continues to blur the lines between open diplomacy and clandestine elitism as political leaders brush shoulders with industry bigwigs, media barons, and finance tycoons.
“It’s a really high-octane list, leaning heavily into the Russia/Ukraine conflict and the future of NATO,” journalist Charlie Skelton, who’s in Lisbon to cover this year’s event, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.
As usual, the details of their discussions remain obscured by the “Chatham House Rule,” a protocol that gives participants the discretion to use the information gleaned from the talks but forbids the identification of speakers or participants, ensuring anonymity.
“Thanks to the private nature of the Meeting, the participants take part as individuals rather than in any official capacity, and hence are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions,” a Bilderberg Meetings press release reads.
Among the major topics slated for discussion are artificial intelligence, the banking system, energy transition, and industrial policy and trade.
Other high-priority issues include the geopolitical landscapes of Europe, China, India, Russia, and Ukraine, along with NATO and America’s global leadership.
The topic of U.S. leadership, which last appeared on the Bilderberg agenda in 2018, comes as China and Russia have ramped up their efforts to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar as the world’s pre-eminent reserve currency.