European Interest

Seasonal clock changes to be scrapped in EU


The European Union has announced its decision to stop its twice-yearly seasonal clock change. And the last seasonal clock change in the European Union will be on 31 March 2019.

“There will be no more seasonal clock changes as of the end of October 2019,” Commissioner Violeta Bulc told a news conference on September 15, acknowledging that this relied on others following the Commission’s “ambitious” schedule.

Under EU law, all EU members move clocks forward by an hour on the last Sunday of March and back by an hour on the final Sunday in October. Now, member states have until April to decide whether they will stick to summer or winter time.

“Either we will stay with summer time or those countries that decide to go to winter time, they will switch to winter time in October (2019) and that will be it,” Bulc said.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, the proposal follows an EU survey drawing 4.6 million responses and showing 84% of them opposed to seasonal clock changes.

The Commission also said seasonal time switches are outdated, implemented during World War One and Two and the 1970s oil crisis to save energy.

“Newer studies confirm that the energy savings are nowadays marginal,” Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said. “We are clearly heading toward smart cities, smart buildings and smart solutions which will bring much more savings than changes of the clock.”

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