Role of the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister directs the functions of the Government and supervises the implementation of the Government Programme. The Prime Minister coordinates the Government’s preparation and consideration of  matters to be decided by the European Union.

When the Prime Minister is prevented from attending to his or her duties, these are assumed by the minister designated to deputise for the Prime Minister, or if that minister is unavailable, by the Government's longest-serving minister.

Directing the work of the Government

The Prime Minister chairs plenary sessions of the Government and has the right to decide the days and the order for the presentation of business in the sessions. The Prime Minister may also require presentation of a particular item of business to the Government plenary session by a set date. On the proposal of the Prime Minister or the minister under whose mandate the matter in hand falls, the government plenary session may transfer a matter coming under the mandate of an individual ministry for decision in plenary session.

The Prime Minister chairs all statutory Ministerial Committees and also the sessions of the Economic Council, the Research and Innovation Council and the Title Board.

Head of the Prime Minister's Office

The Prime Minister is head of the Prime Minister's Office. The role of the Prime Minister's Office is to ensure that the activities of the Prime Minister and Government flow smoothly in all circumstances. The Prime Minister's Office is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Government Programme and assisting the Prime Minister in the general management of Government activities.

The Prime Minister’s Office is also responsible for the coordination of Finland’s EU policy and issues related to the development of the EU, the state ownership policy, and the government communications and coordination of government communications.

Political leadership of the Government

The Prime Minister is the political leader of the Government and is responsible for reconciling the differing views on Government policy held by the various groups represented in the Government. The Prime Minister is also responsible for coordinating Government work with that of Parliament.

The new Finnish Constitution which came into force in March 2000 has strengthened the position of the Prime Minister. Under the Constitution, the President of the Republic may dissolve Parliament and call fresh elections only on receipt of a request from the Prime Minister and having first consulted the party groups in Parliament.

Standing in for the President

The Prime Minister stands in for the President of the Republic whenever the President is prevented from carrying out his or her duties. In practice, the Prime Minister stands in for the President in cases where it will be necessary during the course of a presidential trip abroad to take decisions in presidential sessions and the President is unable to return to Finland to attend the session in person.