Time change: The EU wanted to abolish it. What became of it?

Time change: The EU wanted to abolish it.  What became of it?

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The EU wanted to abolish the time change. What has become of it?

A hand turns the hour hand on a wall clock

Twice a year we have to turn the hands on clocks because of the time change. The EU actually wanted to stop that.

© baona / Getty Images

On March 26th in Europe we will switch our clocks back to daylight saving time. Actually, the EU wanted to abolish the time change. But nothing has come of it to this day. Why actually?

One hour before? Or one back? And will it be lighter or darker in the morning? Or in the evening?

Twice a year, people in Germany and Europe ask themselves these questions when it comes time to say: time change! Now, on March 26th, it’s that time again. The hands are advanced one hour.

time change. A tiresome topic for many people in Germany. There are Facebook groups with tens of thousands of members calling for the time change to be abolished. In the comment columns, citizens long for an end to this practice. It’s annoying, you get out of rhythm, you’re burned out and tired because of it.

Majority of Germans and Europeans against time change

According to a survey, the majority of Germans support the abolition of the time change. In a representative survey by the opinion research institute Yougov, three quarters of those questioned were in favor of it. Only 18 percent are in favor of keeping the hand turning.

And a recent health insurance survey DAC according to a quarter of those surveyed also reported health effects of the time change, including fatigue, sleep disorders and depressive moods. In one in four people, the symptoms even last up to a month.

At some point, the topic also came up at the European Union in Brussels. An EU-wide survey was conducted in 2018. 4.6 million people in the then 28 member states responded – and the result was crystal clear: 84 percent wanted an end to the time change. Incidentally, three million of those surveyed came from Germany.

EU wanted to abolish time change. To date this has not happened

In September of the same year, the EUCommission then put forward a proposal: the time change in Europe should end in 2019. Member countries should be given the freedom to decide whether they want to permanently use summer or winter time.

“Following an assessment of the existing regime for changing the seasons, the Commission concluded that Member States are best placed to decide for themselves whether to maintain summer or winter time in order to avoid fragmentation,” said the EU Commission spokesman Adalbert Jahnz when asked star.

The EU Commission in Brussels

The EU Commission in Brussels. Their plan to abolish the time change in Europe has so far remained unfulfilled.

© Rune Weichert / STERN

In March 2019, the European Parliament endorsed the Commission’s proposal to end the seasonal clock change by 2021.

But now, in 2023, that still hasn’t happened. What’s going on there?

Dissent among the EU states and more pressing problems

“It’s still up to the member states, because it’s their job to find a common position in the Council,” says Jahnz.

And therein lies the heart of the problem: a patchwork quilt should be avoided, but there are disagreements within the EU about which time should now apply – standard time, winter time or summer time? How should the governments of the respective countries regulate all this? Some EU countries are also in favor of keeping the current system.

Time change: With these three tips you can adjust to daylight saving time

In addition, other problems have overshadowed and pushed back the topic of time change: Brexit, the corona pandemic and most recently Russia’s war against Ukraine and its consequences.

The original plans are therefore now on hold. The upcoming changeover on March 26th will probably not be the last. Time will tell when the change in time will finally come to an end.

Other sources: news agencies DPA and AFP, “The Local”

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