As a Government department and the ministry providing the guidelines for defence administration, the Ministry of Defence is in charge of national defence policy and security and international defence policy cooperation. In addition, the Ministry is responsible for national military defence resources and the operating framework of the Defence Forces. It coordinates Finnish participation in international crisis management and contributes to shaping the European security structures to safeguard Finland's national interests.

The Ministry of Defence coordinates total defence arrangements andlippu works for maintaining the resolve of Finns to defend the country. The Ministry also acts as a link between the Government and the Defence Forces. The Government controls the Defence Forces via the Ministry of Defence and the needs of the Defence Forces are brought to the attention of the Government via the Ministry.

Direct operational command of the Defence Forces lies with the Chief of Defence, assisted by the Defence Staff. In administrative matters the Defence Forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Defence.

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