EU to Stop Clock Change, Make Summer Time Year-Round after Biggest Online Poll in EU History
Some 84% of the people who participated in an online consultation survey of the European Commission have voted against the bi-annual clock change leading Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to vow that changing the clock will be abolished, and the EU will stay on summer time year-round.
The European Commission released on Friday the preliminary results from its public online consultation on clock change in Europe, which ran from July 4 until August 16 2018
With 4.6 million participants from all 28 EU member states, the consultation saw the highest number of responses ever received in any Commission public consultation.
Nearly 3 million of the responses came from Germany, or 3.79% of the country’s population, the highest participation rate. Austria was second with 2.94% followed by Luxembourg. At the bottom end of the scale were Italy and Romania, with 0.04% of the population in each participating in the survey, and the UK, which is due to leave the EU in March 2019, with 0.02%.
A total of 84% of the respondents declared themselves in favor of putting an end to the bi-annual clock change.
“Millions of Europeans used our public consultation to make their voices heard. The message is very clear: 84% of them do not want the clocks to change anymore,” EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said.
“We will now act accordingly and prepare a legislative proposal to the European Parliament and the Council, who will then decide together,” she vowed.
EC President Juncker also made it clear his intention to push for the abolishing of the bi-annual clock change, and that what current is referred to summer time should be kept year-round.
“We carried out a survey, millions responded and believe that in future, summer time should be year-round, and that’s what will happen. The people want it, we’ll do it,” Juncker told German TV ZDF, as cited by DW.
A total of 76% of the respondents said they thought that changing the clock twice a year was a “very negative” or “negative” experience mostly because of health effects, increase of road accidents, or the lack of energy savings.
The clock change consultation was organized by the European Commission after in February 2018 the European Parliament adopted a resolution following requests by some member states and civil society groups.
The Commission is going to make a proposal to the European Parliament and the Council with a view of changing the current clock change arrangements.
The clock change arrangements across Europe date to the First and Second World Wars or to the oil crisis in the 1970s, the EC reminds.
Since the 1980’s, the European Union gradually adopted legislation whereby all Member States would agree to coordinate the clock change and put an end to diverging national schedules.
Since 1996, all Europeans have been changing their clock forward by one hour on the last Sunday of March and by one hour backward on the last Sunday of October.
Before the clock change survey of the EC, other past surveys with large numbers of participants were the Birds and Habitat legislation (more than 550,000 replies) or the modernization of the Common Agriculture Policy (more than 322,000 replies).
(Banner image: Pixabay)