The EU assembly has called for a review of the twice-yearly hour changes across the bloc. A Finnish citizens’ petition and health concerns have led to the move. European Parliament members voted 384 to 153 in a non-binding resolution on Thursday to urge the European Commission to carry out a “thorough assessment” of the daylight saving time (DST) arrangements for summer time and, if necessary “come up with a proposal for its revision.”
“Numerous studies have failed to reach a conclusive outcome, but indicate negative effects on human health,” the members of European Parliament wrote in their proposal.
For decades, Europeans have gone through a twice-yearly ritual of changing their clocks to make the most of natural daylight. Current EU law came into force in 2001 and set a bloc-wide date and time for the start and end of summer.
In late March each year clocks go forward by 60 minutes and in late October they are put back again.
- Ireland supports: no need to change the clocks.Irish move to stop the clocks – Farmers say cows can become impatient when they have to hold their milk for an extra hour
- Finland: people do not adapt smoothly to the changes,changing the clocks caused short-term sleeping disorders, reduced performance at work and could also lead to serious health problems.
The European Parliament’s Research Service found last October that the health implications of daylight saving time were “more severe” than previously thought.
Finnish Transport Minister Anne Berner: “Our objective is to abandon the changing of clocks uniformly within the EU. Member states should jointly agree whether to move permanently to winter or to summer time.”
Russia, Belarus and Ukraine all gave up daylight saving after a decision taken by Moscow in 2014 switched Russia to permanent winter time.
EU Commission dismissive
However, EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc told parliament on Thursday that the health benefits from longer daylight should be taken into account. She also suggested there was little enthusiasm in EU national capitals to change the current legislation.
“The evidence is conclusive only on one point,” Bulc told MEPs. “That letting member states be free to apply uncoordinated time changes would be detrimental for the internal market.”
A study for the European Commission in 2014 found a majority of EU member states were happy with the existing time arrangements.
Any proposal to amend the law would need the approval of a majority of EU member states governments and the parliament. The whole process could take more than a year. (via deutschewelle)
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