Berlin – The European Commission will propose Friday to scrap daylight savings time across the European Union, President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a German television interview.
In a consultation paper
“The people want it, so we will do it,” he told the public broadcaster ZDF.
The commission is set to release the results of an online poll that it ran from early July to mid-August. The survey drew 4.6 million responses – an EU record – of which more than 3 million came from Germany.
The EU member states and European Parliament would have to approve any final reform. But the poll results could serve as a basis for legislative action needed to enact any changes into law
More than 80 per cent of respondents in the commission poll want to scrap the practice of moving the clocks forward by an hour in the spring and back in the autumn, according to a leaked report this week in the German daily Westfalenpost.
Taking the online poll seriously
Of those who favoured ending the practice, most preferred switching clocks over to continuous summertime, which runs two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in most of Europe, the newspaper said. During the winter months, clocks across the European Union move back by an hour.
The practice of standardizing daylight savings across the EU goes back to the 1980s, although many countries tried variations going back to World War I. Proponents have cited energy savings, enhanced road safety, and other advantages from having more light during the day.
As the European Commission noted when it released its poll, however, the scientific evidence for these effects might not be that robust.
Moreover, the clock switch has a much more profound effect on northern Europe than on southern Europe, on account of their position relative to the equator.