Europeans want end of seasonal clock changes

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The European Union is to propose ending twice-yearly clock changes after a large-scale public survey, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday.

According to Juncker, more than 80% of EU citizens want to abolish daylight saving time and instead remain on the time used during summer instead.

At the moment, each EU member state puts clocks forward one hour on the last Sunday of March and back again on the last Sunday in October.

The European Commission has today published the preliminary results of the public consultation on clock change in Europe.

This online consultation, which ran from 4 July to 16 August 2018, received 4.6 million responses from all 28 Member States, the highest number of responses ever received in any Commission public consultation. According to the preliminary results (see annex), 84% of respondents are in favour of putting an end to the bi-annual clock change.

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 preliminary results also indicate that more than three quarters (76%) of the respondents consider that changing the clock twice a year is a ‘very negative’ or ‘negative’ experience. Considerations related to the negative health impacts, increase of road accidents or the lack of energy savings, were put forward by respondents as motivations to put an end to the change.

European Commission President Juncker put the summertime question on the political agenda as part of his pledge to be big on the big things while leaving it to Member States to take decisions where they are best placed to do so. The public consultation on clock change arrangements was organised by the European Commission as part of its ongoing assessment of the current arrangements on clock change in Europe. It also follows the European Parliament’s resolution in February 2018, as well as requests from Member States, stakeholders and citizens.

 

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