Each state can choose whether it will be summer or winter time.
Keep the summer time permanent or rather winter? Each EU country will have to make its choice before the end of April 2019, but the European Commission calls on them to do so with intelligence. to do to avoid a patchwork of schedules & # 39; s.
The European executive has this Friday set out its plan to put an end to the obligation to advance clocks an hour in March and then an hour back in October, originally prompted by concerns of economy of energy, and becomes more and more more unpopular. The proposal must now be adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council (the body that includes the Member States) in order to become effective. Then: "it's up to the member states to determine the time they want to keep: summer time or winter time," said Violeta Bulc, transport commissioner, at a conference on Friday. press in Brussels.
Neighboring countries can make different choices
It is therefore possible that neighboring countries make different choices, she admitted, while saying "surely" that the member states will make "an effort commitment". "I have confidence in the Member States and Parliament that this will happen with intelligence, so that neighboring countries will of course coordinate", added his colleague Maros Sefcovic, Head of Energy, to "find the best" solution for our citizens and our economies ".
The Commission invites EU countries to make a choice by the end of April 2019. If the timetable proposed by Brussels is respected, the time change of 31 March 2019 would therefore be the last mandatory change in summer time.
Countries that want to permanently return to the winter then have the option to switch back one last time on 27 October 2019, after which changes for seasonal reasons are no longer possible. In particular, the Commission justified its proposal with the result of an online public consultation this summer, which was answered by 4.6 million people, of whom 84% voted in favor of the elimination of the time change. "It just is not right," said Bulc, "the public consultation was very clear, the citizens want to end the time change."
Negative health effects
The limitation of seasonal change was mainly introduced for energy saving reasons, especially to save coal that is used for electricity production. But according to the Commission, the savings would actually be marginal, while time changes are increasingly being criticized because of their negative impact on health.
EU countries are currently grouped in three different time zones: Western European time (Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom), Central European time (17 countries) and European time. Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania).
The end of the changes in the season will not end their freedom to determine their time zone.
Around 60 countries around the world are currently undergoing seasonal changes, according to the EU executive. He points out that more and more of them give up, like recently in Russia or Turkey.