President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker today announced that the institution will put forward a proposal to eliminate the practice of daylight savings time.
In an interview on German television, Juncker highlighted the results of a European Union survey where 80% of the 4.6 million respondents wanted time changes in summer and winter to be abolished.
The results of the survey showed that EU citizens overwhelmingly desired to keep the time used in summer throughout the year.
Speaking to the ZDF reporter, Juncker said that the EU “had an official survey, millions responded with the opinion that summer time should be valid in future and should stay forever, and so it will be”.
The Commission president said that the proposal “will happen” and that the European Parliament has been stepping “in that direction for years”.
“There is no sense in asking people and when they respond, in a way that one fits or not, behaving as if it wasn’t put on record. People want that — we do that,” he said.
The time-change debate will be put forward to EU commissioners today, although any decision will still need approval on a national and European Parliament level to be written into law.
In February this year, 384 lawmakers in Europe voted to review daylight savings time amid safety concerns.
Belgian MEP Hilde Vautmans highlighted that the practice causes children to “go to school in the dark” which is “very dangerous”.
Critics of time changes between summer and winter have said that the tradition hinders productivity and can have a long-term health impact.
For 22 years, all EU Member States have participated in the semi-annual time switch between summer and winter time.
On the final Sunday of October, clocks are brought back one hour across all EU countries and brought forward again on the last Sunday in March.
Beyond the EU, there are several countries that have already ended the daylight savings time practice including Iceland, Turkey and Russia.