Three and a half years after the proposal to “close the issue” on changing the time in Europe, the negotiation process continues, and the hands of the clock are moved twice a year by one hour. With the approach of the summer season, the transition to daylight saving time is just around the corner, which will take place on the last Sunday of March in 2022.
Despite the fact that they got down to business very zealously, the proposal of the commission in the summer of 2018 caused controversy in European countries about which time zone they should choose.
As a result, it seems that no one is in a hurry to change anything. One by one the Member States EU began to weigh all the “pros” and “cons” in order to choose the time (summer or winter) in which they will have to live. Then the pandemic came and pushed this issue into the background.
The original proposal, presented by former commission chairman Jean-Claude Juncker in September 2018, called for 2019 to be the last year European clocks reset on 31 March, but gave Member States free rein to switch to winter time on the final Sunday October. From now on, a fixed time is set, and each member state will have the discretion to choose what it will be, and neighboring countries can coordinate their actions to avoid confusion at the borders.
Member states’ initial willingness to at least discuss the proposal was accompanied by a general feeling that the milestones set were too ambitious, largely due to a lack of documentation of the implications. in.gr.
And while some blocs of countries may have been both in favor and against the proposal from the outset, all agreed that such a decision is all about good coordination to avoid a “tangled tangle” of different time zones, which would also have implications for the proper functioning of single internal market. Thus, the proposed implementation date was very quickly pushed back by two years to April 1, 2021. However, this milestone has also been passed.
A proposal to amend Directive 2000/84/EC, which currently governs seasonal time changes in the EU, remains “frozen” in the European Transport Council. Even during the German presidency of the council, where public opinion is in favor of ending the time change in Europe, this issue was not raised due to the pandemic. Considering that decisions in the Transport Council are traditionally taken unanimously, as long as meetings are held remotely and the issue is not “pressing”, the decision-making procedures are slowing down.
Greece’s position from the beginning was not to change the regime, mainly because of the impact this change would have on tourism and air transport.
Our country belongs to a block of states that are in the minority. It is also important that with such a “somersault” serious adjustments and changes will have to be made, starting from the school schedule and ending with working hours in the public sector.
Recall that the debate was initiated by Finland, which put forward various reasons, including the psychological impact of the change of time.
Since at the European level this issue is within the competence of the Directorate General for Mobility of the European Commission, in our country it is within the competence of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
Energy saving introduced daylight saving time
At present, when energy prices have risen sharply, creating strong inflationary tendencies, it should be noted that the first setting of the clock hands was done precisely with the aim of saving energy.
Although today it has already been proven that the savings were negligible. However, using more sunlight each day has reduced the need for artificial lighting while increasing worker productivity.
Daylight saving time was introduced in Germany during the First World War, then in Great Britain. The United States, while imitating Europe, backed down at the end of the war as these changes displeased many citizens, especially agrarians.
Daylight Saving Time was reintroduced for the same reasons during World War II in the US, only this time it was set for the entire year. This gave rise to the nickname “wartime”, in contrast to the “peacetime” to which they returned with the onset of winter. Eventually the oil crisis of October 1973 was the catalyst for European countries, one after the other, to introduce the annual time change, which was carried out 2 times a year.
The European Union first introduced daylight saving time rules in 1980 with a directive that coordinated national practice at the time. The current directive, which came into force in 2001, introduced the changeover to summer and winter time on the last Sunday of March and October, respectively.