The idea of summertime all the time seems perfectly palatable, albeit hard to imagine in January, but that’s exactly what Juncker has announced he intends to implement across the whole EU.
The Commission’s proposal requires support from the 28 national governments and MEPs to become law.
In the EU clocks switch between winter and summer under daylight saving time.
A European Parliament resolution says it is “crucial to maintain a unified EU time regime”.
However, the Commission has not yet drafted details of the proposed change.
In a consultation paper it said one option would be to let each member state decide whether to go for permanent summer or winter time. That would be “a sovereign decision of each member state”, Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein explained on Friday.
He stressed that the proposal was “to no longer constrain member states into changing clocks twice per year”.
According to Eurostat:
In the public consultation, 84% of 4.6 million respondents called for ending the spring and autumn clock change.
By far the biggest response was in Germany and Austria (3.79% and 2.94% of the national population respectively). The UK’s response was lowest – 0.02% – but few Italians took part either (0.04%).
Some studies cited by the Commission point to adverse health impacts from the clock changes.
“Findings suggest that the effect on the human biorhythm may be more severe than previously thought,” it says.
Clocks go forward by an hour on the last Sunday in March and switch back to winter time on the last Sunday in October.