Plans to abolish the clock change between summer and winter across Europe have been put on hold.
European Union member states need more time – until 2021 – to debate plans to abolish the clock change between summer and winter. So, plans will likely be put on hold.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had pledged in September to do away with the time change by the end of his mandate in 2019. Brussels backed the move.
Now, following a meeting with EU transportation ministers earlier this week in the Austrian city of Graz, the EU has indicated that the ritual may not be abolished until 2021.
“If we choose to do it in 2019, like the Commission suggests, we will not have the support of the majority of member states,” warned Norbert Hofer, Austria’s transportation minister.
“We need an in-depth public debate on the issue. More time is needed for debate,” agreed Danish minister Ole Birk Olesen.
As reported by Spain’s newspaper El País, airlines are also concerned about how the proposed change could affect flight schedules. At a meeting on October 29, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said they would need more time to reschedule flights according to the new time zones.
Under the EU directive 2000/84/CE, the clocks must go back on the last weekend of October, and be moved forward again on the last weekend of March to mark the start of daylight saving (or summer) time and standard (or winter) time.
An EU-wide public opinion survey revealed that 84% of 4.6 million respondents wanted to stop changing the clocks.