As the Irish Times noted at the weekend, the Irish Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, has been providing written answers to the Dáil about his trip to Chantilly, and his attendance at the 2012 Bilderberg Meeting. Here’s his 13 June written answer on “Official Travel”
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I attended the Bilderberg meeting in Westfield Marriot, Chantilly, Virginia, USA, from 1 to 3 June 2012. I, like a number of my European colleagues (both Ministers and EU Commissioners), was invited to attend given my position as Minister for Finance. I travelled alone and the total cost associated with my travel and accommodation came to €4,358.33. For further information, I would point Deputies to the Bilderberg Meetings website (www.bilderbergmeetings.org), which includes information on the organisation’s governance, steering committee, meetings and associated press releases.
At this meeting and its workshops I took the opportunity to set out to my fellow attendees the opportunities that exist in Ireland for investors and multinational companies. I also outlined the significant progress Ireland is making in restoring stability and growth to the economy. The Government is focused on encouraging as much investment as possible into Ireland and over recent months we have seen the strong level of inward investment in our economy and have seen the announcement of over 1,000 jobs per month from Foreign Direct Investment so far this year. I would point out to Deputies that a number of the business attendees represent companies which have very significant investments in Ireland that support thousands of Irish jobs.
Bilderberg’s only activity is its annual Conference. At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken, and no policy statements issued. Since 1954, fifty-nine conferences have been held. The names of the participants are made available to the press. Participants are chosen for their experience, their knowledge, and their standing; all participants attend Bilderberg in a private and not an official capacity. [added emphasis]