Shifting the time by an hour every spring and autumn could be history after a survey made by the European Union confirmed most citizens were against it.
The survey—to which 4.6 million people responded—revealed more than 80% of Europeans prefer to stop moving the clocks back and forward under daylight saving time.
The practice, which was intended to conserve energy during the World Wars, became law back in 1996. Since then, the 28 countries aligned to the EU are required to move forward by an hour on the last Sunday of March and back by an hour on the final Sunday in October.
No more seasonal clock changes after October 2019. This ambitious timeline will allow European citizens to reap the benefits without delay. I’m inviting @Europarl_EN & @EUCouncil to start work right away. #clockchange #SOTEU pic.twitter.com/D8te0w6wCL
— Violeta Bulc (@Bulc_EU) 14 de septiembre de 2018
Plus, let’s remember that although Spain used to be on the same time as the UK and Portugal, it has run an hour ahead since 1942, when the dictator Franco moved it forward in solidarity with Hitler’s policies. So, this change could be a great opportunity to leave the past behind. Several European countries have stopped switching between summer and winter time, including Russia, Turkey, Belarus, and Iceland.
Even if some people think this measure is preventing car accidents during the winter and saving energy—which is no longer a big difference thanks to the LED lights and modern technologies—studies suggest that the effects on the human biorhythm may be worse than previously thought, producing sleep-related issues and, as a consequence, less productivity.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission President, said without a doubt: “the people want it, so we will do it”. Therefore, the European Union has given member states until April 2019 to decide if they will remain on summer or winter time.