MEPs want to end biannual time change

Written by Martin Banks on 8 February 2018 in News

MEPs from across the political divide have called for an end to the biannual time change.

Clock | Photo credit: Press Association

In a vote in Strasbourg they also called for a “thorough assessment” of current bi-annual time change and, if necessary, a revision of the rules.

The resolution was overwhelmingly adopted on Thursday.

It states that, “Citizens’ initiatives have shown that the public is concerned about the bi-annual clock change marking the beginning and end of summertime, which currently takes place the last weekend in March and October. Numerous studies have failed to reach a conclusive outcome, but indicate negative effects on human health.”

MEPs, including Irish member Seán Kelly, called on the Commission to conduct a “thorough assessment” of the summer time arrangements directive and, if necessary, to table a proposal to revise it. 

Kelly, in the debate on Thursday, said, “I hope the Commission will take this resolution seriously because I believe the biannual changes is not good for man or beast.”

Further comment came from EFDD group member Jiri Payne.

The Czech deputy said “there is no point in maintaining this arrangement. We should switch to winter time on a permanent basis.”

Tomas Zdechovsky, an EPP group member also from the Czech Republic, agreed, saying, “changing the clocks twice a year makes no sense, economically or otherwise. It is time to change this.”

But Andrejs Mamakins, a Socialist from Latvia, said he voted against the resolution because, “there is no actual evidence that abolishing the current arrangement will change anything.”

The resolution was adopted with 384 votes in favour, 153 against, 12 abstentions.

The current summer-time arrangements directive, which entered into force in 2001, provides a harmonised date and time for the beginning and end of the summer-time period across the EU, with the aim of helping the internal market to function effectively.


About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine


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