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Group.png Rive-Reine-Conference  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png 5
A Swiss elite conference

The Rive-Reine-Conference (Ger: Rive-Reine-Tagung) is an annual meeting of around 50 influential personalities from politics, business and society in Switzerland, arranged by the multinational company Nestlé.


In addition to 40 corporate leaders, Nestlé invites one or two federal councilors, as well as the heads of the federal parties, the churches and the unions. The conference has been held at the Rive-Reine hotel in La Tour-de-Peilz, Nestlé's training center, since 1976.

The Rive-Reine conferences are of unique importance for the Swiss power elite. The Nestlé conferences have been called a kind of mini-versions of the Bilderberger conferences, happening just as much behind closed doors[1]. The secret power cartel has been criticized for working past the democratic, constitutional institutions.The current organizer is the President of the Néstle Board of Directors Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. Before him, the former Federal Councilor Kaspar Villiger and Rainer E. Gut were the hosts from Nestlé's board of directors.

On January 18, 2010 there were protests against the conference for the first time, and Swiss television reported for the first time about the conference. In 2011 and 2012 it got brief mentions in the press. The 2019 and 2020 conferences seems to have no mention in any corporate or state media.

The conference follows precise rituals. The meeting starts at Nestlé's corporate headquarters in Vevey. First the guests are informed about the results of last year's conference. This is followed by two and a half hours of discussion on the most important topics. Then all participants are driven to the Nestlé conference and training center Rive-Reine in the neighboring community of La Tour-de-Peilz, a former luxury hotel in a splendid location. Here they can dine, chat, sleep. No formal decisions are taken, but a course is nevertheless set.[2]

Rive-Reine is in reality an instrument of the three biggest Swiss corporations: the traditional alliance of Nestlé, Credit Suisse and Swiss-Life. The man who dominated Rive-Reine for a long time was the CEO and Nestlé, Rainer E. Gut. He was the man who imported investment banking, top wages and international managers to Switzerland, but also as a patriot: in addition to over a hundred top jobs, the Rive Reine invitation was a reward for loyal employees. [3]

Kaspar Villiger took over the mantle: once an ambitious bicycle manufacturer, then finance minister and then a board member at Nestlé, Swiss Life and the newspaper NZZ. During the 2008 financial crisis, he claimed that it was not the bankers but the political regulations that were to blame.[4]

Those who participate directly and indirectly in the government have to be part of Rive-Reine. Franz Blankart, State Secretary and Director of the Federal Office for Foreign Trade from 1986 to 1998, was even proud to have been invited to the conference twelve times. "It is gratifying that the heads of business and politics meet for debate", he said, "and if Rive-Reine did not exist, one would have to invent it; the leaders meet "otherwise only sporadically and never collectively".[5]

Participating politicians quoted said that Rive-Reine "has the normal conference atmosphere: small talk and four-star luxury... You listened. And they would also be listened to in the event of criticism." A Rive Reine consultant laughed bitterly when he heard this: "Politics is like a baby for business bosses. You laugh when it gets your knees wet."[6]


Full article: Rive-Reine-Conference/Guests


5star.png 17 January 2020 Terje