On Friday, the European Commission unveiled the results of a public consultation on the merits of the decades-old practice of putting clocks forward by 60 minutes between late March and late October, and then switching back for the winter. The Commission said it received 4.6 million responses on the matter from all 28 Member States, the highest number of responses ever received in any public consultation. According to the preliminary results, 84 percent of respondents are in favour of putting an end to the time changes.
European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc presented these preliminary results to the College of Commissioners that held a first discussion on the possible next steps. Commissioner Bulc said: “Millions of Europeans used our public consultation to make their voices heard. The message is very clear: 84% of them do not want the clocks to change anymore. We will now act accordingly and prepare a legislative proposal to the European Parliament and the Council, who will then decide together.”
The European Commission will decide on Friday to recommend the scrapping of the biannual daylight-savings time changes and keep clocks permanently on summertime, commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told the German television network ZDF TV.
While each of the EU’s 28 member states can pick its time zone, switches from summertime to wintertime are centrally regulated, to avoid disruptions to the bloc’s single market. The Brussels-based commission’s regulatory proposal to scrap changes will be subject to approval by national governments and the European Parliament.
Three quarters of the respondents in the commission’s survey said that changing the clock twice a year is a “very negative” or “negative” experience, citing effects on health, an increase in road accidents or the lack of significant energy savings.
Outside the EU, a handful of European countries have stopped switching between summer and winter time, including Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Iceland.
The Brussels Times