A European Commission public consultation on whether or not EU states should change their clocks for summertime is due to close shortly. People have until Thursday, August 16th to have their say in the consultation that was requested by citizens across the union.

Ireland South, MEP, Deirdre Clune is in favour of scrapping the clocks changing entirely describing the exercise as a relic from a bygone era that no longer serves a useful purpose.

“Having brighter evenings in winter would lead to improved outcomes for road safety as the roads are statistically more dangerous from the hours of 4-7pm. There are obvious economic benefits such as reduced energy consumption because of less need for artificial light in the evenings with a consequent reduction in CO2 emissions. Brighter evenings in winter would have a positive benefit for public health.”

The Commission said that following a number of requests from citizens, from the European Parliament, and from certain EU Member States, it has decided to investigate the functioning of the current EU summertime arrangements and to assess whether or not they should be changed. It added that in this context, it is interested in gathering the views of European citizens, stakeholders and Member States on the current EU summertime arrangements and on any potential change to those arrangements.

MEP Clune said: “I would encourage anyone who would like a say in this consultation to offer their views on the public consultation.”

Summertime arrangements in the EU require that the clocks are changed twice per year in order to cater for the changing patterns of daylight and to take advantage of the available daylight in a given period.

The majority of the EU Member States have a long tradition of summertime arrangements, most of which date back as far as the First and Second World Wars or to the oil crisis in the 1970s. At the time, summertime arrangements were mainly designed to save energy. However, there have also been other motivations, such as road safety, increasing leisure opportunities stemming from longer daylight during evenings or simply to align national practices with those of neighbours or main trading partners.

Summertime arrangements at EU level exist since the 1980s and are currently governed by Directive 2000/84/EC.

Finland has asked that the bi-annual time switch be abandoned and Lithuania has called for a review of the current system in order to take into account regional and geographical differences.

To have your say check out: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/2018-summertime-arrangements

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