European Union lawmakers voted on Tuesday to scrap the practice of moving clocks forward by an hour in spring then back again in the autumn in the bloc from April 2021, two years later than the EU executive initially proposed.
The European Parliament voted by 410 to 192 in favor of ending the practice of seasonal time shifts. The vote is not the last word on the issue but will form the basis of discussions with EU countries to produce a final law. The countries have yet to take a stance.
EU law has required all countries in the bloc to observe daylight saving time, moving clocks forward by an hour on the last Sunday of March and back by an hour on the final Sunday in October.
The practice of switching the clocks, also observed in countries such as the United States, was first introduced in World War One to save energy by prolonging evening daylight in summer.
The European Commission proposed in September ending the practice after an EU-wide opinion survey showed a large majority in favor of doing so. The survey generated 4.6 million responses, with 84 percent of respondents wanting to end seasonal clock changes.
Critics say the survey was dominated by Germans, who made up 70 percent of the respondents.
A parliament report in favor of operating on a single time throughout the year said scientific studies link time changes to diseases of the cardiovascular or immune systems because they interrupt biological cycles, and that there were no longer any energy savings.
“New technology and different ways of living mean that we no longer earn anything (from time change), in fact, we don’t save,” Marita Ulvskog, the lawmaker in charge of the time change file, told the EU parliament during a debate on the issue on Monday.