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Military


President as Commander-in-Chief

The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, but may delegate this position to another Finnish citizen. The President commissions officers and decides on the mobilisation of the Defence Forces. If Parliament is not in session when a decision to mobilise is taken, it must be immediately convened. Delegation of the position of Commander-in-Chief is an exception to the principle that the President cannot delegate functions to others. In 1939 - 44 Marshal C-G E Mannerheim acted as Commander-in-Chief under delegated powers.

As Commander-in-Chief the President has the power to issue military orders concerning general guidelines for military defence, significant changes in military preparedness and the principles according to which military defence is implemented. He or she likewise decides on other military matters of far-reaching import or of substantial significance in principle as well as on military appointments and promotions.

The President decides on military matters on the submission of the Chief of Defence in conjunction with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence at a so-called in camera presentation of business, which generally takes place outside the Government. The Minister of Defence is required to be present at a meeting of this kind, whilst the Prime Minster is entitled, but not required to be present and express his or her views. The President may, on his or her own initiative or on the recommendation of the Minister of Defence, refer a matter arising at an in camera meeting to the Presidential sessions of the Government for decision; there it is presented by the Minister of Defence. The President's decisions at the Presidential sessions of the Government are made without any recommendation on the Government's part as to what the decision should be. The Chief of Defence is entitled to attend meetings of this kind and to express views at them.

The President in conjunction with the Minister of Defence decides on military appointments at an in camera meeting, where matters are presented by the Chief of Defence. The Minister is entitled, but not required to be present and express views at a meeting of this kind. The appointment and assignment of officers up to and including the rank of colonel are decided at in camera meetings. However, the appointment and assignment of the Chief of Defence, the Chief of the Defence Staff, a general, an admiral, the Chief Engineer of the Defence Forces, the Surgeon General and the Chaplain General are appointed and assigned to their tasks by the President at the Presidential sessions of the Government, on the recommendation of the Government as presented by the Minister of Defence. The same procedure is followed when the President appoints and assigns an officer of the Defence Forces to a post as military attach, deputy military attach or military representative, or to a comparable mission outside Finland.

The President decides on Frontier Guard military orders and on the appointment and assignment of Frontier Guard officers up to and including the rank of colonel at in camera meeting outside the Government, with the presentation of business performed by the Minister of the Interior. The Prime Minster is entitled, but not required to be present and express his or her views. Higher officers are appointed and assigned to their tasks by the President at the Presidential sessions of the Government, on the recommendation of the Government as presented by the Minister of the Interior.



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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:57:11 ZULU