The duties of the Office of the President of the Republic are statutory. By law, the Office assists the President in carrying out official duties, manages the President’s administrative affairs, keeps the President’s archive, and provides for any personal services required by the President or the President’s family. The Office is also responsible for ensuring the personal security of the President and the security of any premises occupied by the President.
The Presidential Cabinet consists of the Secretary General, Director of Legal Affairs, Director of Foreign and Security Policy, Director of Communications and Advisers (Foreign Affairs and Domestic Affairs). The Presidential Cabinet monitor issues relevant to the duties and authority of the President and report to the President; also, the Cabinet assists the President in carrying out official duties as instructed by the President.
The Secretary General is the Chief of the Presidential Cabinet.
Meetings of the Cabinet and programme meetings
The President chairs Cabinet meetings dealing with the principal matters related to the performing of the President’s official duties, while the Secretary General chairs meetings dealing with other official business and preparing for future meetings.
The President also chairs programme meetings attended by the Cabinet and the Aides-de-Camp. The Cabinet and the Aides-de-Camp prepare for programme meetings under the direction of the Secretary General.
Aides-de-Camp of the President of the Republic
The complement of the Office of the President of the Republic includes a number of Aides-de-Camp on secondment from the Defence Forces. Lead by the First Aide-de-Camp, they prepare and manage the day-to-day programme of the President and the President’s spouse in accordance with the instructions give at the programme meeting. One of the Aides-de-Camp is assigned to assist the President’s spouse as required, and another Aide-de-Camp provides assistance to former Presidents.
This practice dates back to the period 1918–1919, when General C.G.E. Mannerheim was the provisional Head of State. As a curiosity, we may note that the celebrated artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela, then a Lieutenant, was for a while an Aide-de-Camp to Mannerheim. The longest-serving Aide-de-Camp to the President to date has been General Grönvall, who held the post from 1944 to 1962.