2019 for the last time

On 31 March 2019, the last change in summer time takes place in the EU. This is the Commission's plan. Will it be reset for the last time on 27 October? It gets complicated.

The time change in the EU must be abolished – in the coming year. This is the plan that the European Commission has now presented.

As long as the governments of the EU and the European Parliament agree with this plan, the clocks in all EU countries will be switched for the last time to summer time on 31 March 2019. On 27 October 2019, a country can then switch back to the normal time. , often & # 39; winter time & # 39; but that is not necessary.

The EU wants to avoid patchwork

"The decision whether a country will remain in the summer or winter time permanently lies with the member states", said the responsible transport commissioner, Violeta Bulc. But she especially called on the neighboring countries to vote on the issue and find a "good solution". Because a real patchwork of time zones within the EU, the Commission wants to avoid.

Time zones in the EU

There are currently three time zones in the EU. The same time prevails in Germany and 16 other states. Eight countries – including Bulgaria, Finland and Greece – are one hour ahead. Three states – Great Britain, Ireland and Portugal – are one hour behind.

And how decided Germany?

The final decision must now be taken quickly: the EU Parliament and the Member States must submit their statements before the end of the year, Bulc said. By April 2019, states would then have to decide whether they want to remain permanently in the summer or winter time. According to Bulc, only a few Member States have responded to this.

According to a spokeswoman, the German government – this is the Ministry of Economic Affairs – has not yet decided. Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier, however, showed a preference for the permanent daylight saving time. in the MDR He referred to the EU Commission's online survey: "In Germany we found a large majority of entries that summer time should be and the proposal is good, so it has to be implemented."

The fact that the time change should be abolished at all only applies to this online survey, which the European Commission had started with. The majority of the participants – most of whom came from Germany – ended the conversion. Critics, however, do not consider this research to be representative because it does not even represent one percent of all EU citizens.

Do not worry about every little thing

The European Commission is also concerned to remove the criticism that Brussels wants to regulate everything. "We want to show that we do not care about every little thing, just about the big things," said Commissioner for Energy, Maros Sefcovic. This legislative proposal to abolish the conversion proves that the Commission maintains its word.

Transport commissioner Bulc recalled the reasons why the time change was ever introduced: in some countries already in the First or Second World War, to save energy. In most EU countries due to the oil crisis in the 1970s. All these reasons no longer exist today, Bulc says.

LED lamps bring more than daylight saving time

In addition, recent studies have shown that energy savings in time shifts are nowadays low, said Commissioner for Energy Sefcovic. Ongoing projects aimed at increasing energy efficiency in Europe are much more successful: for example, energy-efficient street lighting with LEDs or buildings that are built and equipped so that they require significantly less energy. These "smart" solutions would yield much more savings than the time change, the Commissioner for Energy explains.

With information from Karin Bensch, ARD Studio Brussels

Inforadio reported on this subject on September 14, 2018 at 16:45.