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Public consultation to close soon on whether clocks should change for summertime

A public consultation on whether EU states should change their clocks for summertime is due to close shortly.

People have until Thursday, August 16 to have their say in the European Commission consultation that was requested by citizens across the union.

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune is in favour of scrapping the clocks, describing the exercise as a relic from a bygone era that no longer serves a useful purpose.

“Having brighter evenings in winter would lead to improved outcomes for road safety as the roads are statistically more dangerous from the hours of 4-7pm.

"There are obvious economic benefits such as reduced energy consumption because of less need for artificial light in the evenings with a consequent reduction in CO2 emissions. Brighter evenings in winter would have a positive benefit for public health,” she said.

Deirdre Clune

The Commission said that following a number of requests from citizens, from the European Parliament, and from certain EU Member States, it has decided to investigate the functioning of the current EU summertime arrangements and to assess whether or not they should be changed.

It added that in this context, it is interested in gathering the views of European citizens, stakeholders and Member States on the current EU summertime arrangements and on any potential change to those arrangements.

MEP Clune said: “I would encourage anyone who would like a say in this consultation to offer their views on the public consultation.”

Summertime arrangements in the EU require that the clocks are changed twice per year.

They exist at EU level since the 1980s and are currently governed by Directive 2000/84/EC.

Finland has asked that the bi-annual time switch be abandoned and Lithuania has called for a review of the current system in order to take into account regional and geographical differences.

Digital Desk