| Trine Eilertsen |
|Born||1 May 1969|
|Alma mater||Norwegian School of Economics, University of Bergen|
|Member of||Trilateral Commission|
Trine Eilertsen worked in the oil company Statoil as a trainee from 1998 to 1999 before being hired in Bergens Tidende as a journalist. She advanced to political subeditor in 2002 and editor-in-chief in 2008. She changed jobs to political commentator in the state media company Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation in 2013. In 2014, she became political editor of Aftenposten, and advanced to chief editor in 2020.
In 2015, after being criticized for her participation in the 2015 Bilderberg, she wrote the below (translated into English for Wikispooks):
Bilderberg secrets under pressure
by Trine Eilertsen
Bilderberg has given up many of his secrets. But they should keep some.
What is right for Greece?
Further tightening and new loans, or new loans, but no tightening?
Or should Greece go its own way, outside the eurozone? And what will happen in Russia in the future?
What is a sensible Western reaction, and what is a hasty Western reaction?
And is the UK leaving the EU, or is it crazy to discuss the alternative?
And is there any hope of progress in Iraq and Syria, or do we have to face decades of turmoil and war, casting shadows on the rest of the world in the form of terror and migration?
The issues are not unknown. They are discussed at conferences, in editorial offices and in research environments around the world.
But it is different when discussed at the Bilderberg meeting, this mythical gathering that has taken place at exclusive hotels around the world every year since 1954.
This weekend the assembly met in Austria. Around half were business leaders from Europe and the United States, including the LinkedIn boss, Alcoa boss and Ryan Air boss. Around 25 were politicians from Europe, such as the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and Belgium and the Minister of Defense in Germany.
About as many researchers or analysts were associated with universities and think tanks as Ann Dowling, Gilles Kepel and Soli Özel. Finally, there were just under ten bureaucrats and 10-12 people affiliated with various media companies, including me.
The participants pay for, as far as I could establish, travel and stay themselves. Those who probably make less of themselves than rumors claim, are American politicians such as Henry Kissinger and the notorious Richard Perle.
Disagreement is the key word
The conference itself is like many other conferences. Two lecturers highlight a theme - this time 13 themes - from each standpoint, followed by debate. It would be untrue to say that the assembly was approaching some form of agreement on a great deal of things. That's not the goal either.
So much is similar to all other conferences and debate arenas, but something is different.
The most obvious is the secrecy that Bilderberg has shrouded itself in for far too long, and the rumors that are sticking to the conference because of it. It is only a few years since the list of participants and list of topics was published. Secrecy, of course, creates a breeding ground for speculation and suspicion, as also when powerful people meet in murky arenas.
Could have been reported directly
In my opinion, over 90 percent of this weekend's discussions could have been reported directly. They will not be, because the discussions are subject to the Chatham House Rule (CHR). This means that no one is quoted directly from the meeting.
That is a rule many editors know, and it is used, for example, when we have government ministers or business leaders in the editorial board for background meetings, and for other occasions where we get background information. The advantage is that we can get information that is essential to understanding a problem, or a case, information that we might not otherwise have received. Then it is common to initiate stories after the conversations, but the agreement then is that interviews are specifically agreed upon.
For commentators, the background conversations are crucial in our daily work.
I have no idea what happened at previous Bilderberg meetings, but the value of the discussions and introductions at this meeting was very useful also because the participants spoke so freely. I'm going to use information that came out during the meeting, without any direct indication of where I got it from.
But such rules obviously have a limitation. If this information has direct, and large, social significance - in other words, the conspiracy theorists are right - the press people who are there must convey it in some way.
Jetplanes and billionaires
There is no doubt that the profile of the participants gives the meeting a stamp more of a summit than of a conference, with all that it entails. The security is absurd, seen with Norwegian eyes. The same is the number of private aircraft and the density of billionaires.
There is also no doubt that Bilderberg represents an international network of business leaders, active and former top politicians, as well as researchers and analysts who are interesting to observe. Just like the dinners at Norges Bank and NHO.
So one could reject such networks as homogeneous and elitist, and they are. For example, the proportion of women is just over 20 per cent, just to name a few. But the discussions are not uninteresting for that reason.
The secret meeting arenas are challenged, and that is a good thing. But unpublished meetings between journalists and sources will always be there.
Event Participated in
|Bilderberg/2015||11 June 2015||14 June 2015||Austria|
|The 63rd meeting, 128 Bilderbergers met in Austria|