MEPs, meeting in plenary in Strasbourg, voted Tuesday to end the change of seasonal time from 2021 in the various member states of the European Union (EU).
“EU countries that decide to keep daylight saving time permanently will have to adjust their watches one last time on the last Sunday of March 2021, and those who prefer to keep the standard (winter) time could a last time change on the last Sunday of October 2021”, according to the legislative project adopted by 410 votes for, 192 against and 51 abstentions.
MEPs endorsed the European Commission’s proposal to end the change of seasonal time in the EU, but postpone its date from 2019 to 2021.
They also expressed their wish that the EU countries and the European Commission should coordinate to ensure that the application of summer time in some countries and winter time in ‘others do not disturb the functioning of the internal market.
“If the Commission considers that the planned time arrangements are likely to significantly and permanently disturb the functioning of the single market, it may submit a proposal to postpone the date of application of the Directive by up to 12 months,” says the text adopted.
After conducting a public consultation, the European executive recommended last September to abolish the change of seasonal time as early as this year, but the Member States and the European Parliament considered this deadline too short.
European countries had introduced summer-time provisions in the last century to save energy, especially in times of war or during the oil crisis of the 1970s.
Since 1980, the European Union has gradually adopted legislation putting an end to national differences between timetables, but today several studies suggest, according to the European Commission, that “energy savings have become marginal, and more and more citizens are complaining about the negative impact of time changes on health, so that they have lost much of their relevance.”