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Summer time

Citizens recurrently turn to the Parliament with comments on summer time. Some citizens are in favour of this arrangement since they look forward to enjoying all sorts of evening leisure activities because of the natural light available. Others call on the Parliament to abolish summer-time arrangements since they do not see any advantages.

The decision on the standard time falls within the competence of Member States. Most Member States introduced summer time in the 1970s, although some had started applying it much earlier for varying lengths of time. Since the 1980s the EU legislator – the Member States and the European Parliament – have adopted several directives harmonising step by step the varying summer-time arrangements. The main idea was to provide a stable, long-term planning which is important for the proper functioning of certain economic sectors requires, especially as regards transport.

EU legislation

The current reference text in EU legislation with regard to summer-time arrangements for all Member States is Directive 2000/84/EC. In 2007, the European Commission published a report on the impact of this directive, providing a chronology of the European legislation and its implications for different sectors of activity.

Petitions

Summer time

© Fabian Petzold / Fotolia

Summer-time arrangements are subject of debates and several petitions have been introduced on this issue. Regarding Petition 1477/2012, the European Commission explained in its reply that “an application of summer time throughout the year would in reality be no longer a harmonised ‘summer time’ regime. It would abolish summer time and impose on MS to change their standard time”. And this decision on the standard time falls within the competence of Member States – and not that of the EU.

The purpose of EU rules has therefore not been to harmonise the time regime in the EU, the Commission says, but to address the problems, notably for the transport sector, which arise from an uncoordinated application of clock-changes in the course of the year.

Another petition on this subject, Petition 0859/2013, is requesting to extend the current summer-time period in order to bring it into line with summer-time arrangements in the United States and Canada.

Parliamentary questions

Summer-time arrangements are also recurrent subjects of Parliamentary questions, as some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have requested an explanation from the Commission on the justification for the twice-yearly time change.

One MEP asked if the Commission would support any proposals to extend British Summer Time within the European Union, “to align it to the dates which are currently implemented in the USA, i.e. from the first weekend in March to the first weekend in November.”

Another MEP asked whether the Commission plans to carry out an impact assessment on the introduction of summer time, and if it was considering the health consequences for people in the EU.

The Commission replied that it believes that the summer-time arrangements as established by the directive remain suitable and it “does not currently plan any revision”.

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About Ask EP

The Citizens' Enquiries Unit provides information on the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament. You ask, we answer.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Summer time

  1. I would just love to use REAL TIME and not any adjustment made, no summertime, no wintertime, just realtime. People suffer from the change twive every year, mental ill, farmers (cows just don’t wake up an hour earlier or later)… It does cost more than we save!

    Like

    Posted by Adrienne | March 28, 2015, 12:44
  2. I think that the more countries that will be using Summer time is better and if possible to bring our Summer time with that of Canada and the USA it will be best for both Europe and America.

    Like

    Posted by alleanzaliberali | April 1, 2014, 19:01

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Summer time: All you need to know to make your life easier : EU Reporter - March 27, 2015

  2. Pingback: Topics and links – April 2014 | European Parliamentary Research Service - April 30, 2014

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved

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