The European Commission has published the preliminary results of a public consultation on the issue of observing daylight saving time in Europe which showed that a substantial 84% of respondents are in favour of putting an end to all bi-annual clock changes.
The online consultation, which ran from July 4 to August 16, included 4.6 million responses from all 28 of the EU Member States, the highest number of responses ever received in any Commission public consultation.
“Millions of Europeans used our public consultation to make their voices heard. The message is very clear: 84% of them do not want the clocks to change anymore. We will now act accordingly and prepare a legislative proposal to the European Parliament and the Council, who will then decide together,” said Europe’s Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc.
With the final results of the public consultation scheduled to be published in the coming weeks, the Commission will now make a proposal to the European Parliament and the Council with a plan to change the current clock arrangements.
“We carried out a survey, millions responded and believe that in the future, summertime should be year-round, and that’s what will happen,” Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told German broadcaster ZDF on Friday, adding that the Commission was due to make an immediate decision on how to proceed. “I will recommend to the Commission that, if you ask the citizens, then you have to do what the citizens say…We will decide on this today, and then it will be the turn of the member states and the European Parliament.”
Supporters of the change have long argued that maintaining a year-long ‘summer time’ prolongs evening daylight hours and helps save energy and bolster productivity. Opponents, however, have argued that by sacrificing natural sunrise times certain people have difficulty adapting to the adjusted times, which has a negative short-term impact on their health.