Europe should consider ending daylight-savings time because of the potential health benefits the change would have for residents, the European Parliament said in a prepared statement after MEPs approved a resolution on February 8 that requested a “thorough review” by the EU’s regulatory arm of the current time arrangements.
The goal of the resolution that was approved in Strasbourg, was to make the EU executive consider going back to a unified time regime, even after an end to daylight savings time. The European Commission began regulating time four decades ago by harmonizing on the internal market, notably in the areas of cross-border transport, and communications. At the time, the goal was to prevent divergent approaches from undermining the European single market. The possibility of adverse health effects from daylight savings time was first discussed in 1975.
European Commissioner Violeta Bulc said in the plenary session that the benefits to human health resulting from longer daylight must also be taken into consideration before a decision can be made. According to the European Parliament’s ex-post impact assessment, recent findings suggest that the effect on the human biorhythm may be more severe than previously thought. Bulc also added that the appetite to change the current legislation is at present limited in the EU member states.
Any change on behalf of the Commission won’t be adopted until at least next year, according to EU legislative practice.