EU plans to scrap daylight savings from 2021
MEP’s have been debating the future of daylight savings time for several years. And at a recent meeting, the European Parliament has agreed to scrap the twice-yearly clock changes that are currently used in Europe.
Currently, the clocks are moved forward in spring – on the last Sunday in March every year. They are also moved back in Autumn on the last Sunday of October.
This was introduced to make the most of the natural daylight in the summer months. It means that, as people get up earlier, they are able to get better use of the light, which is supposed to save energy and reduce traffic accidents.
However, critics have put forward a range of complaints. For example, it can make it darker and more dangerous for children travelling to school in the morning.
Some studies have also shown it can be bad for people’s health. In addition, farmers have argued that it can cause problems for farming schedules.
Last year, the debate began as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker put forward the proposal to end the practice in 2019. At the moment, however, the change is due to be implemented in 2021.
In a survey last year, 4.6 million citizens – out of 510 million – responded and put forward their opinion. A total of 3.8 million said they wanted daylight savings to be scrapped, which is around 84% support.
This included a lot of support from Germany, which had the most respondents. Surveys in other member states – with the exception of the UK, Portugal, and Greece – show that there is support for the proposal across the EU.
The majority of lawmakers on the Transport and Tourism Committee back the proposal. And if approved by the European Parliament, it will mean that, going forward, member states will need to choose between ‘summer’ time or permanent ‘winter’ time.