The national defence of Estonia is conducted on the principles of civilian control inherently bound with the democratic organisation of the state. Democratically elected and appointed executive institutions make decisions on the use of the Defence Forces and determine the respective objectives, allocate the necessary resources and monitor the attainment of the objectives.
The implementation of the principles of civilian control is guaranteed by defence-related rights, obligations and responsibilities legislatively laid upon the Parliament, the President of the Republic and the Government of the Republic.
The highest leader of the national defence is the President of the Republic advised in national defence matters by the National Defence Council comprising of the Chairman of the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Chief of the Defence Forces (the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces in wartime), the Defence Minister, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chairman of the Parliamentary National Defence Committee.
Executive power in the leadership of the national defence is executed by the Government of the Republic.