The European Union is to propose ending twice-yearly clock changes after a large-scale public survey, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday.
"Many people are contributing to this debate. We did a survey, a public survey. Millions responded and think that in the future we should have summertime all year round. So that's what will happen," he added. At the moment, each EU member state puts clocks forward one hour on the last Sunday of March and back again on the last Sunday in October. The Commission's proposal requires support from the 28 national governments and MEPs to become law. That would be "a sovereign decision of each member state", Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein explained on Friday. He stressed that the proposal was "to no longer constrain member states into changing clocks twice per year".
In the public consultation, 84% of 4.6 million respondents called for ending the spring and autumn clock change. Some studies cited by the Commission point to adverse health impacts from the clock changes. Daylight saving was first adopted during the First World War in the UK to give factories extra daylight to work in. It was introduced by European governments at the beginning of the 1980s to save on energy costs. Earlier this year Finland called for the EU to halt the decades old practice on health grounds.