The European Parliament has voted on a proposal by the European Comission on the 26th of this month. When also approved by the Council of the European Union, it will have to be implemented by all EU member states.
On 12 September 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal to end seasonal time changes in 2019 throughout the EU, while leaving Member States the freedom to decide their standard time.The system of bi-annual clock changes has been increasingly questioned, by citizens, by the European Parliament, and by a growing number of Member States. The Commission has, therefore, analysed available evidence, which points to the importance of having harmonised rules in this area to ensure a proper functioning of the internal market. This is also supported by the European Parliament as well as other actors (e.g. in the transport sector). The Commission has also carried out a public consultation, which generated around 4.6 million replies, of which 84% were in favour of discontinuing the bi-annual clock changes while 16% wanted to keep them. A report was produced on the results of the consultation.
The final decision is now with the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. They will have to come to an agreement before the proposal can take legal effect. On 26 March 2019, the European Parliament adopted its position on the Commission proposal, supporting a stop to the seasonal clock changes by 2021. The Council has not yet finalised its position.
European countries introduced summertime arrangements in the last century to save energy, particularly in times of war or during the oil crisis of the 1970s. Starting in 1980, the EU gradually adopted legislation putting an end to the diverging schedules of the national clock changes.
Since 2001, EU summertime arrangements have been governed by Directive 2000/84/EC, setting out the obligation on all Member States to switch to summer-time on the last Sunday of March and to switch back to their standard time (“winter-time”) on the last Sunday of October.
If approved by the Council, the change would apply to the UK if it stays in the EU, as well as during an extended transition period that is part of Theresa May’s present or any future Brexit deal and also if the date on which art. 50 will become effective is being delayed.
Member states would be able to choose whether to remain on “permanent summer” or “permanent winter” time under the draft directive, which passed by 410 votes to 192.
Countries that wanted to be permanently on summertime would adjust their clocks for the final time on the last Sunday in March 2021. Those that opt for permanent wintertime would change their clocks for the final time on the last Sunday of October 2021.
With thanks to the European Commission website.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.